Translation Cost Approach To Networking - LSE - Essay

2836 words - 12 pages

81736, MG488  
Candidate Number: 81736
Degree Programme: MSc Global Management
Course Code: MG488
Assessment Title: Discuss the concept of networking, and consider how successful
networking can achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
Seminar Teacher: Dr. Emma Soane
Seminar Day and time: Thursday – 12:30pm
Word count: 2175
81736, MG488  
Networking refers to the act of deliberately developing a network. A network can be
loosely defined as a set of actors (“nodes”) and the relations (“ties”) between actors. Nodes
can be individuals, groups, organizations, or societies and ties can be formed between any
combination of the aforementioned (individual-to-individual ties or individual-to-group tie)
(Wasserman and Faust, 1989). It is widely accepted that successful networking leads to
positive outcomes for actors within the network. Research is largely aimed at developing a
better understanding of the practice of networking, the motives behind it, and mechanisms
through which it yields positive outcomes (Ricciardi, 2014). Different schools of thought
propose different explanations for this phenomenon. This essay builds on transaction cost and
social capital theories to discuss the practice of networking, what constitutes successful
networking and the outcomes that such practices may yield, and finally explores empirical
Prior to advancing onto the discussion of transaction cost and social capital theories, it
is key to identify some key features of networks. Types of ties in relationships and the
structural aspects of these relationships are diverse (Knoke and Yang, 2001). Status, strength,
asymmetry, and multiplexity are the four defining attributes of ties in relationships identified
in Wasserman and Faust (1989). Status can be defined as the relative power of actors in the
network and can be dictated by various factors such as friendship, hierarchy, and contractual
agreements (Bristor and Ryan, 1987). Strength of a relationship can be defined as the strength
of a tie between two actors in a network and is related to frequency, emotional engagement,
intimacy, and reciprocity (Granovetter, 1973). Asymmetry in ties can be defined as any
instance when two actors are not equal in the relationship. Multiplexity can be defined as the
possibility of two actors being in multiple different relationships with one another; for
instance, friends can also be business partners.
In regard to the structural aspects of relationships, it is instrumental to consider
structural holes, centrality, and density. Structural holes refer to the absence of a link between
two actors. Centrality refers to the position of actors in a network. An actor is said to have a
closed centrality if he or she is capable of reaching other actors in the network through
relatively few direct and indirect links. Density refers to how close together actors in the
network are. The aforedescribed attributes of ties and structural aspects have a significant
impact on the potential benef...

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