Informations and abstract
Keywords: Organizations; Social Networks; Social Network Analysis.
The relationships of socialization, collaboration, advice, friendship (as well as of antipathy and hostility), which link together the members of an organization within networks more or less extensive and more or less dense, are a relatively new research topic, that nevertheless, since the second half of the 90s of the last century, has gained strong momentum, up to be considered as the most representative case of the practical relevance of social network analysis (SNA) as well as of the analytical resources it offers. In fact it is evident that, if by organizations we mean in the first place entities in which multitudes of individuals are forced or are found to interact repeatedly and for an important part of their life time (as typically happens with companies), then such social artefacts constitute primary and fundamental sources of personal ties. We survey here the variety of approaches that have thus arisen within the field of organizational SNA by making use of four categories, which correspond, respectively, to the effectiveness of the links, the characteristics of their contents, the factors that determine their development, and the cognitive roles assumed by the parties involved. These categories are suitable to be studied separately for the very specific features that they carry, but are clearly related and indeed interact when they are viewed from a standpoint that encompasses the overall network structure of an organization.