Friday, February 27th, 2015
Student Union, Kiva Room
“Time as a Contingency Factor in Network Advantage”
Hobart W. Williams Professor of Sociology and Strategy
University of Chicago
Time is often treated as a neutral medium through which social processes operate, something like the water in which fish swim: "Here is the way networks develop over time." But time is also a quality perceived, a quality shaped by circumstance. Hours fly by when you¹re engaged in something interesting, or last forever when you¹re subjected to tedium. Now can be the right time to make your move, or a moment to be silent until the audience is ready to listen. In this talk, I look into ways that time interacts with the competitive advantage that social networks can provide. We know certain people benefit more than others from network advantage. I want to know whether time is a factor contributing to the differences. When is network advantage most valuable? How are those valuable periods visible in the networks providing advantage? How does time vary as a function of network advantage? More importantly, how does time vary with the achievement associated with network advantage? Illustrative answers to these questions are provided using data on managers in banking, financial services, engineering, HR, software, and supply chain.
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