Class Notes (810,488)
United States (314,224)
Boston College (3,520)
Psychology (214)
PSYC 4470 (3)

Group Work.docx

18 Pages
Unlock Document

Boston College
PSYC 4470
Christoph Richter

Case study and analysis: “how to build your network” Running head_ Case study and analysis: “how to build your network” Case Study andAnalysis: “How to Build Your Network” By Brian Uzzi and Shannon Dunlap Harvard Business Review 2005 DeBoth, Lu, Delgado, McMahon, Mahony Chris Richter Boston College October 2008 Case study and analysis: “how to build your network” 2 Abstract The goal of this paper is to properly identify a key attribute to success, a powerful network. Through the examples of many past successes, it is shown how a network is built by the individual and is important to leading them to a valued end. This paper analyzes Brian Uzzi and Shannon Dunlap’s article “How to Build Your Network” and how it explains the main components to networking. By identifying the key factors and deeming the individuals network worth, the individual learns attributes and decisions can be obtained to better a network and lead to further success. This paper will decompose the concepts of valuing and bettering a network in 5 components of: • Network Success • APowerful System • Diagnose Your Network • Forge Better Connections • Go for Brokers The individual reading this paper will be able to identify what a network is, how they are formed, what makes them strong, and ultimately recommends steps to strengthening a personal network. Case study and analysis: “how to build your network” 3 “Network Success” Networks of the past identify future success Success isn’t deemed by the individual as an individual; success is deemed by the individual working in a network of people, aspiring to create change, work towards a common goal, and build those interpersonal systems of people connections. Success comes through networks. Any idea, business, process or organization is formulated by a group [two or more people, working towards a common cause (Richter)]. The individual is a member of many groups, of many different causes, formal/informal, leisure/business, and collectivist/individualistic.All these contacts and connections compose the individual’s network, studying the organizational behavior of networks can lead the individual to higher boundaries. Obviously, the network will deem the quality of inter-relatedness and contact that an individual has on their society, their outlook, and their needs/motivation to better themselves. The network is the make or break to furthering oneself because, again, success isn’t deemed by the individual as an individual, it is deemed by the individual in relation to others. Sociologists and intellectualists stand to explain the “social phenomenon;” which is the random occurrence how as humans our interactions and quality of day-to-day life builds networks which are used to explain human purpose, motivation, and being. Networks are the product of the individual social phenomenon. According to “How to Build Your Network” by Brian Uzzi and Shannon Dunlap: a network is spontaneous form of the individual’s experiences; but that doesn’t mean the individual Case study and analysis: “how to build your network” 4 can’t control his or her network. The article proves how a strong network and the right decisions to building that network, have led to and will lead to success. Yes, it is the individual drive and work ethic that is credited, but it is the network of support, which advances those traits. The article highlights the success of Paul Revere as a historicAmerican icon as he warned the Boston area that “THE BRITISHARE COMING, THE BRITISHARE COMING.” Paul Revere will always stand out for his glorious ride and emancipated bravery, but he wasn’t the only man to have that gig. William Dawes was doing the same exact thing, at the same exact time, in a similar demographic area. Paul Revere went North, Dawes went South; but the success of Paul Revere as a standing American hero is due to his network. Paul Revere, based on the people that he knew, the actions he made, and how he had an inter-related network of people, made the actions to be an “information broker.” This made it easy for him to contact the right people and get his word out because his people knew other people, and his network was the “tipping point.” The same process is known across many networks, that “networks determine which ideas become breakthroughs”(Uzzi 93). There are plenty of examples of how a personal network has led to past success. If it were not for Socrates’school of philosophy, Plato never would have been able to write all of his books. If it were not for her husband’s presidency, Hillary Clinton wouldn’t have been involved in politics. If it were not for Puff Daddy living in same neighborhood, selling under the drug network, Biggie and Lil Kim wouldn’t have surmounted in music. If Steve Jobs never connected with Steve Wozniak, theApple brand wouldn’t be and our world will be desolate. Plenty examples and proven statistics show how the network benefits the push to success. Case study and analysis: “how to build your network” 5 The article summarized the inner workings of networks by examining: what makes “A Powerful System”, how to map or “Diagnose Your Network,” information on how to “Forge Better Connections,” and the importance of making the strongest network connections to “Go for Brokers.” This article summarizes the findings of a successful network and instructs readers how to deem/esteem their network and ultimately utilize better connections within that network. “APowerful System” What makes a powerful network, or a network powerful The article defines three advantages that networks provide: private information, access to diverse skill sets, and power. Private information, as defined in the article, is “gathered from personal contacts that can offer something unique that cannot be found in the public domain” (Uzzi 93). The sharing and obtaining of private information relies on the trust of those who you network with. With diverse skill sets, individuals can be very successful and specialized given that they have creativity and diversity in their ideas and thoughts. While diverse skill sets benefit people on an individual basis, those specific individuals can greatly contribute to groups. As society has evolved, so has power in the workplace. Power used to be very hierarchical, but now it is often spread out amongst employees, and the employees with the greatest and most diverse networks generally succeed. Information brokers are some of the most powerful players in business settings because, according to the article, they can “adapt to changes in the organization, develop clients, and synthesize opposing points of view.” At times, these three advantages of networking can work against each other. For example, with information brokers as the connections between different corporate networks, because of their own personal widespread networks, some individuals may be less likely to trust them with their personal information given how many people they know and interact with. Case study and analysis: “how to build your network” 6 As individuals, we have personal networks and corporate networks, much like there are formal groups and informal groups. Personal networks are made up of our friends, and corporate networks are made up of small clusters with few links between them (Uzzi 94). Personal networks are mostly highly clustered, meaning that an individual’s friends are likely friends with each other’s friends. Information brokers, on the other hand, are the links between corporate networks. When developing networks, it is important to rate the social capital of the people you are interacting with. Advantages of social capital, according to our text, include shared values and goals, trust, support, assertive communication, teamwork and collaboration. Social capital is the power of the people working together, with all of their individual traits combining under a plethora of networks. Networks are likely very successful when there is a strong social capital amongst individuals. It is important that individuals surround themselves with other individual’s with a high self-efficacy. By surrounding yourself around positive behavior and outlooks, the people in your network thus have a positive impact on you. According to David McClelland’s need theory, all individuals, to some extent, have a need for power. While the hunger for power can vary from person to person, power itself is omnipresent in the workplace. The use of empowerment, sharing varying degrees of power with lower-level employees, is often implemented to help better communicate and work with customers. Power also comes in many forms, including the five forms of social power as outlined in the text: reward power, coercive power, legitimate power, expert power, and referent power. Case study and analysis: “how to build your network” 7 The attributes and qualities of a good network truly rely on the three components of private information, access to diverse skill sets, and power; this way the individual can show how there network will have a cause and effect on their desired outcomes and goals. “Diagnose Your Network” What is your network? One of the initial steps to take to build your network is to understand what type of network you currently have. This will help to overcome any issues you encounter while building your network. To do this, first identify the most important contacts you have, such as the ones you rely on the most for exchanging information. Be sure to recall the resources and/or the quality of the resources you exchange with this person. Then, remember how you met this person, whether someone else introduced you to them, or if you met this contact yourself. This will help to see who the brokers in your network are. The individual can easily diagnose networks. It is important for the individual to realize what people are in constant contact and whom the individual considers a close relation. Networking is built on a conglomerate of an individual’s goals, but an effective network is developed through close contacts of people who match the cause/goals that you have and can help you better those. It is important for individuals to realize who is in close contact, who is in distant contact, who they can ask favors of, who they can budget work to, who they can request information. Ultimately by doing this, the network develops because then the individual’s network branches out to even more individual networks. The process of mapping out your networks is highly recommended to maintaining and understanding where your contacts can take you. Also, mapping allows you to realize the extremes and benefits you have of important people or key players in getting specific tasks done. While mapping and evaluating systems, it’s important to realize how similar the other individuals are to you. Also one must realize the contact and support of the other individuals that is if they would be willing to consider you in their network too. The individual must realize that the network can be traced to identities like similar social classes, school contacts, co-workers, family ties, political opinions, nepotism, Case study and analysis: “how to build your network” 8 shared events, mutual friends, and many more traits. It’s important to diagnose the strength of friendship because a diverse network is key. According to Uzzi and Dunlap, if you met your contact more than 65% of the time, you are most likely suffering from the self-similarity principle and your network may be too inbred. The self-similarity principle states that you tend to choose people who resemble you in terms of experience, training, worldview, etc. when making network contacts (Uzzi, 96). Many people, including executives, use this principle to build their networks because it is more efficient to work with people with whom you have things in common. You are both able to recognize similar concepts, which enable you to share information more quickly, and maintain an agreeable point of view on issues. Most importantly, it is easier to trust someone to act similarly to you when you share the same values. So sometimes diagnosing your network requires you to remove yourself from your normal standpoint and to question what thoughts aren’t included in your network. The research of Uzzi and Dunlap shows that the benefits one would get from the self-similarity principle has diminishing returns. When two contacts have too much similarity, it prevents you from attaining new or diverse information. This will prevent efficiency in problem solving and creativity will be hurt. Also, people will introduce their contacts to one another so that over time, everyone will know each other and their ideas are just bounced around within the network. This creates what is called an echo chamber (Uzzi, 97). You need to diagnose which is the best. People tend to build their networks with people that they spend the most time with, which are usually the people they work with. This is called the proximity principle (Uzzi, 97). The problem with this is that businesses are usually organized to put people with the same set of skills in the same department, and this causes interactions with people who are very much like them. Paul Ingram and Michael W. Morris of Columbia University show a good example of the obstacle of the self-similarity principle in a study where they invited their students to a “business mixer”. Their Case study and analysis: “how to build your network” 9 primary goal was to meet as many people as possible and they wore an electronic device that recorded whom they talked to and for how long. It was found that the students formed new ties with people that were most similar to themselves (Uzzi, 98). That is good for finding similar ideas, but not for breaking into new boundaries. The key idea here is to try to create a network with diversity by not following the self- similarity and proximity principles. It has been shown that it is very natural to associate yourself with like-minded people, but this creates those echo chambers in your network that diminishes diversity with the more like-minded people you connect with. It’s important that while you diagnose your network, you understand who is similar and who is not; this definition between the two better illustrate qualities of your network in whole. In order to create a network where you can influence and be influenced by a wide variety of people, avoid falling into these two principles and diagnose which may be better to forming
More Less

Related notes for PSYC 4470

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.