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FELU Award for Research Achievements in 2010 December 15, 2011

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in awards, learning networks, social network analysis for management.
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Faculty of Economics @ University of Ljubljana awarded my colleagues and myself for the second time in the last three years with an award for research achievements. This time we got second prize for the paper Škerlavaj, M., Dimovski, V., & Desouza, K. (2010): Patterns and Structures of Intra-Organizational Learning Networks Within a Knowledge-Intensive Organization, Journal of Information Technology, 25(2):189-204.

The abstract. This paper employs the network perspective to study patterns and structures of intra-organizational learning networks. The theoretical background draws from cognitive theories, theories of homophily and proximity, theories of social exchange, the theory of generalized exchange, small-worlds theory, and social process theory. The levels of analysis applied are actor, dyadic, triadic, and global. Confirmatory social network analysis (exponential random graph modeling) was employed for data analysis. Findings suggest: (1) central actors in the learning network are experienced and hold senior positions in the organizational hierarchy; (2) evidence of homophily (in terms of gender, tenure, and hierarchical level relations) and proximity (in terms of geographical and departmental distances) in learning relationships; (3) learning relationships are non-reciprocal; and (4) transitivity and high local clustering with sparse inter-cluster ties are significant for intra-organizational learning networks.

Some pics from the event are available at the following link.

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Networks for generating and for validating ideas: The social side of creativity June 1, 2010

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in creativity, innovation, social network analysis for management.
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We have just published a journal article than connects social network analysis and creativity: Ohly, S., Kaše, R., & Škerlavaj, M.: Networks for generating and for validating ideas: The social side of creativity. Innovation: Management, Policy, and Practice, 12(1): 41-52.

In recent years, research has recognized that creativity is a social process. By
communicating with others, individuals get access to novel perspectives and unique
knowledge, and they can get political support for their ideas by ensuring that they meet
others’ standards. Based on the different function of idea-related communication, we expected
the structure of idea-generation networks to differ from that of idea-validation networks.
Specifically, we expected different effects of leadership status and tenure. Our results
indicated some differences in the structure of the two networks. This leads to the
recommendation that future research on idea-related communication and creativity needs to
distinguish the different phases of the creative process.
Keywords: Idea generation, implementation, social network, social support, communication,
reciprocity

Patterns and structures of intra-organizational learning networks within a knowledge-intensive organization March 24, 2010

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in journal, learning networks, social network analysis for management.
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Another publication of ours available on-line in a top-notch academic journal:

Škerlavaj, M., Dimovski, V., Desouza, K.C. (In press): Patterns and structures of intra-organizational learning networks within a knowledge-intensive organization. Journal of Information Technology, doi: 10.1057/jit.2010.3

Abstract

This paper employs the network perspective to study patterns and structures of intra-organizational learning networks. The theoretical background draws from cognitive theories, theories of homophily and proximity, theories of social exchange, the theory of generalized exchange, small-worlds theory, and social process theory. The levels of analysis applied are actor, dyadic, triadic, and global. Confirmatory social network analysis (exponential random graph modeling) was employed for data analysis. Findings suggest: (1) central actors in the learning network are experienced and hold senior positions in the organizational hierarchy; (2) evidence of homophily (in terms of gender, tenure, and hierarchical level relations) and proximity (in terms of geographical and departmental distances) in learning relationships; (3) learning relationships are non-reciprocal; and (4) transitivity and high local clustering with sparse inter-cluster ties are significant for intra-organizational learning networks.

Keywords:

organizational learning; social network analysis; centrality; homophily and proximity; reciprocity; transitivity

Journal Citation Reports®, 2008 Impact Factor: 1.966*, Rank: 24/99 – Computer Science, Information Systems, 10/61 – Information Science & Library Science, 27/89 – Management

Intra-organizational learning networks within knowledge-intensive learning environments February 13, 2010

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in journal, learning networks.
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A new publication on learning networks is now officially availabe to the interested audience:

Škerlavaj, M., Dimovski, V., Mrvar, A. and Pahor, M.(2010) ‘Intra-organizational learning networks within knowledge-intensive learning environments‘, Interactive Learning Environments, 18: 1, 39 — 63,

Abstract:

Organizational learning contributes to organizational performance. One research  question that remains inadequately explained is how learning occurs. Can it be
explained by using the acquisition or participation perspectives? Or is there a need for some other view? This paper suggests that learning networks form an
important learning environment for knowledge transfer. A case study of a software development and business consulting company is used to test the
network perspective on intra-organizational learning. Both exploratory and confirmatory social network analysis of a learning network within the IT
company are used to establish learning patterns within organizations. Learning needs to be seen as both participation in communities of practice and a flow of
previously acquired knowledge.

Keywords: organizational learning; network perspective; social network analysis; exponential random graph modeling; knowledge-intensive learning environment

Author Posting. © ‘Copyright Holder’, 2010.
This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ‘Copyright Holder’ for personal use, not for redistribution.
The definitive version was published in Interactive Learning Environments, Volume 18 Issue 1, March 2010.
doi:10.1080/10494820802190374 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10494820802190374)

International Network for Social Network Analysis Conference 2009 March 10, 2009

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sunbelt2009San Diego … here we are. Today, the major conference in the field social network analysis (Sunbelt 2009) is commencing. Given the importance and vivacity of the field, it has become ‘a must’ in my annual schedule. This year I’ll be presenting a paper on Introduction of technological innovations through organizational social networks (together with Peter Baloh, FELU). Below is the abstract:

Innovation is one of the main drivers of firm performance in modern volatile business environments. This contribution relates incremental technological innovations and social network analysis. The research questions we ask, (1) what is typical for the central members in innovation advice networks and, (2) whether these people change with technological innovations introduced. By the term innovation advice networks we use name generators about the organizational members that coworkers turn to when in need of advice related to functioning of certain software. We explore the case of migration from Office 2003 to Office 2007 within a manufacturing company whose main business is engineering and production of prefabricated buildings. We will measure complete inter-personal innovation advice networks on two occasions. First, previous to introduction of new software and related training workshops and second, one month after the introduction. Through comparison of central members in first and second observation we will determine the rate of change in innovation advice network caused by technological innovation introduced. The methodology used is Exponential random graph modeling. Besides network data we will also collect demographic data on industry experience, educational level, tenure within the company, gender, age, hierarchical level, and decision-making role in order to determine some common traits of most central people. A set of in-depth interviews with key players in innovation advice networks will also be conducted in order to gain deeper insights about the nature of introduction of technological innovation.

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Advances in Social Network Analysis and Mining Conference September 17, 2008

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Social networks is one of the most rapidly growing fields in both academia as well as practice. In fact, analysis of most frequent searches via web browsers shows that ‘social network analysis’ just over took ‘porn’. Details here. I am quite fortunate to ride on this hype and obliviously my humble work is noted in the research community. Just recently, I accepted an invitation to participate as a member of technical programme committee at International Conference on Advances in Social Network Analysis and Mining, Athens, Greece to be held July 20-22, 2009. Both workshops proposals as well as papers are welcome.

Learning network paper in ILE May 12, 2008

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I am pleased to announce that we’ve just got the note from the Interactive Learning Envinonments editors that the paper Škerlavaj, M., Dimovski, V., Pahor, M., Mrvar, A.: Intra-organizational Learning Networks within Knowledge-intensive Learning Environments is accepted for publication. Below is the abstract, while the full text will be available on-line End of July.

Organizational learning contributes to organizational performance. One research question that remains inadequately explained is how learning occurs. Can it be explained by using the acquisition or participation perspectives? Or is there a need for some other view? This paper suggests that learning networks form an important learning environment for knowledge transfer. A case study of a software development and business consulting company is used to test the network perspective on intra-organizational learning. Both exploratory and confirmatory social network analysis of a learning network within the IT company are used to establish learning patterns within organizations. Learning needs to be seen as both participation in communities of practice and a flow of previously acquired knowledge. 

ILE is an international, peer reviewed  SSCI ranked journal that publishes “articles on all aspects of the design and use of interactive learning environments in the broadest sense, encompassing environments that support individual learners through to environments that support collaboration amongst groups of learners or co-workers (ILE, 2008)”.   

Sunbelt 2008 January 24, 2008

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Sunbelt 2008Today, I’ve held the talk at THE conference on social networks – Sunbelt 2008, St. Pete Beach, Florida. The conference paper is a result of collaboration with prof. Vlado Dimovski and prof. Emmanuel Lazega and is entitled What leads to effective social learning? It deals with the research question how to boost performance through learning, advice and socializing  networks. For those interested, here is the abstract and the presentation slides.

And few photos as well… 

Conference lobby  Hotel Tradewinds at St. Pete Beach  Vizsards session  Network visualization  And some sandy beaches  Alps from the birds’ perspective

Au revouir Paris! October 10, 2007

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This Monday I was hosted by prof. Emmanuel Lazega (member of my PhD comittee) and Lise Mournier at University Dauphine, Paris to give an invited lecture in the series of seminars on networks in organizations. The presentation I gave was entitled Network perspective to intra-organizational learning, which received a lot of attention from the audience.

As a fringe bennefit to it, Paris in the autumn is more than beautiful! Beside few musts (climbing 668 steps of the Eiffel tower, marvelling the Louvre, impresionists in d’Orsay, Notredame, having a look of Bastille, Luxembourg gardens with house of Senate, being stopped by securty officer infront of Sorbonne University 🙂 , etc), my wife and I had an opportunity to enjoy the pure Nuit blanche (White night, a sleepless night) which coincided with French victory over All Blacks (New Zealand team) at the on-going World Championship in rugby at Stade de France.
Paris, see you again…
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