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Lecture 20

Lecture 20 March 21.docx

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Vanina Leschziner

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SOC483Y1- Lecture 20 March 21 Burt article: - Structural holes do everything good, message of most Burt articles, including encourage innovation - Burt argues it is not just about specific ideas, he argues you get practice in seeing things from different angles and you are exposed to different technologies = all this stuff is in your head, some can come together to make a new idea - Burts study- to figure out they are good for coming up with good ideas, he asked people what their networks were, and asked what their best idea was for improving the supply chain. He took ideas and had managers rate how good the ideas were. He discovered people with more structural holes have better rated ideas. There is a little bit of a cheat though, according to Marin he told the managers rate these ideas and operationalizes them: and Burt said a good idea is one that will have broad application/implications (affect not just one part of supply chain) his definition limits what you can say good is if it affects a lot of different people it is a better idea and behold those who have most contacts = better idea- Marin said it is biased - Unit of analysis: the person - Networks are contexts for action 4 levels of brokerage 1. Simplest- make people on both sides of a structural hole aware of interests and difficulties in the other group. Those that communicate these issues between groups are important because so much conflict results from misunderstandings 2. Transferring best practice 3. To draw analogies between groups ostensibly irrelevant to one another 4. Synthesis (pg. 8) likely to see new beliefs by combining elements Aggregate level- technological change Higher company performance when top managers have boundary-spanning relationships beyond their firm More innovation, creativity good to establish alliances with firms outside their own area Brokerage increases the risk of having a good idea Ex. From managers running supply chain for one of Americas largest celectronic companies Dense network- talked a lot to one another directly Hierarchical network shared information indirectly via a central contact Company rewards brokerage Incentives pg. 22 Job evaluation, promotion, salary There is a vision advantage associated with brokerage Analyzed archival and survey data on many managers in a large company Many opportunities for brokerage and managers were rewarded for brokerage in the sense that compensation, positive performance evaluations and promotions were given to managers who brokered connections across structural holes Brokerage can be associated with good ideas Managers whose networks spanned structural holes were more likely to express and idea and to discuss it with colleagues, have the idea engaged by senior management and have it judged valuable Results have implications for creativity and reproduction of social structures in which ideas emerge Creativity - Distinguish exceptional from mundane - Creator = great intellectual identity, fresh perspective, productive way of thinking, creative personality or some other quality that enabled him or her to generate good idea o Youth factors o Environmental factor of a new generation less invested in or blinded by the prevailing paradigm o The brokerage value of an idea resides in a situation in the transaction through which an idea is delivered to an audience, not In the source of the idea nor in the idea itself o What matters is not the source of an idea but rather what matters is the value produced by the idea o Across the clusters in an organization or market, creativity is a diffusion process of repeated discovery in which a good idea is carried across structural holes to be discovered in one cluster of people, resdiscovered in another then rediscovered in still others o Value accumulates as an idea moves through the social structure, each transmission from on group to another has the potential to add value. Thus there is an incentive to define work situations such that people are forced to engage diverse ideas. That incentive underlies the rhone-pulenc quote on managing le vide - Structural reproduction o Brokerage is discussed as an engine for productive change o Organizations and markets are viewed as with beliefs and behaviors, knowledge and practice, homogenous within cultures relative to the heterogeneity between clusters o Brokerage brings market price into focus and price is a criterion for coordinating people whose knowledge is necessarily limited by time and place- Brokerage opportunities were abundant visible and rewarded, but apparently irrelevant (does this mean that the value is in the idea not the person) - There should be an integrated supply chain rather than the organization riddled with structural holes - There is evidence of structural reproduction- BROKERAGE: A MECHANISM FOR CHANGE AND VALUE CREATION prevalent and rewarded in a fragmented static organization - There are positive and negative cycles to the reproduction: negative cycle is clear from the managers surrounded by densely interconnected discussion partners (high network constraint) likely to have their ideas dismissed by senior of have ideas seen as low so they learn not to express ideas. They obey the maxim - The positive cycle is less obvious= managers whose networks spanned structural holes (low network constraint) were likely to express and discuss their ideas, likely to have ideas engaged by senior management and likely to have ideas perceived as valuable. These managers continue to propose ideas. The more a contact is connected with others in a mangers network, the higher the constraint score for the contact Good ideas discussed to display competence and to e
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