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Workshop: Social Network Analysis (Half-day Workshop)
Leaders: Kalle Lyytinen and Jeffrey V. Nickerson  

Social network analysis has been an important part of sociology and anthropology research approaches for decades. Recently, physicists and computer scientists have begun developing new computational approaches to analyzing such networks. Information systems researchers have become interested also, with an increasing number of papers appearing in IS journals and conferences. This workshop is devoted to cross-disciplinary research on (social) network analysis and aims to find common themes across disciplines, push the frontiers in methods and data collection, and discuss linkages between theory and analysis techniques. In the next workshop in January 2010, the third in our series, we will lead a panel on socio-technical networks, asking the questions:

  • Are machines to be nodes in the network, or are they just the conduits through which people communicate? That is, are computers just for communication, or should they be modeled as if they perform or mediate cognition?

  • If machines are nodes, are they to be modeled in the same way as humans? That is, do we need models of networks in which different forms of cognition are modeled differently? If so, what complexities does that create in using standard ways of evaluating and analyzing networks?

  • If machines are conduits, how do they change the networks in terms of structures and behaviors they are conduits for?

  • What analysis tools do we have, or need to build, to model cognition distributed across humans, machines, and other representational media?

Interested participants can submit a position statement in response to one or more of the above questions – these documents will be posted on a website as a way of introducing the participants’ work to each other prior to the meeting.

Kalle Lyytinen (
Kalle.Lyytinen@case.edu) is the Iris S. Wolstein Professor in Management Design at Case Western Reserve. His research interests include systems design methods, IS research strategy, computer-aided systems engineering environments, innovation theory and especially distributed innovation involving complex socio-technical networks. He is an AIS Fellow, and is the editor of the Journal of AIS.


Jeffrey V. Nickerson
(jnickerson@stevens.edu) is an Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Decision Technologies in the Wesley J. Howe School of Technology Management at Stevens Institute of Technology. His research interests include social network analysis, diagram understanding, and distributed cognition.