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ION Conference

Founded in 2007 at the Gatton College of Business and Economics, the LINKS center is the International Center for Social Network Research. The mission of the center is to bring together scholars from different academic disciplines who share a common interest in social network research and application. 

Our overarching goal is to conduct and publish cutting-edge research in the rapidly expanding field of social network analysis; and to serve as a bridge between the science of social networks and real world organizational problems. Dan Brass PhotoThe core insight of the network perspective is that the pattern of relations among the elements of a system—be they people, organizations, neurons, or computer servers—has important consequences for the system's performance.  

This focus on patterns, in contrast to the more traditional emphasis on intrinsic characteristics of the elements that make up the system, makes network theory and methods highly versatile and adaptable to problems across a wide range of academic disciplines, including Management, Marketing, Information Systems, Sociology, Psychology, Communications, Physics and Biology. 

Under the leadership of Professor Daniel J. Brass-- one of the most cited authorities on social networks in organizational studies and management-- the members and affiliates of the LINKS center are working on such questions as:

  • How do social networks in organizations influence power, leadership, career advancement, performance, turnover, conflict, innovation, and the success of organizational alliances and mergers?

  • How do social networks influence the successful implementation of "Enterprise systems," which are expensive, complex information systems that companies rely upon to improve fundamental business processes within and across organizations?

  • What implications do social networks have for the design of organizational supply chains?

  • What is the relationship between social networks, corporate culture, and performance in the retail sector?

  • How can online social networks be used to help the physically handicapped overcome barriers to interpersonal coordination?

  • What is the impact of social networks among scientists on the production of scientific knowledge?

  • What is the role played by social networks in explaining differential access to venture capital funds?

  • How do social networks influence the birth, growth, and survivability of small businesses?

  • How do social networks influence large-scale issues in the realm of public policy?

  • How can social networks be harnessed to deliver better helath care?

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