Business and Management INK

Understanding Networking and its Benefits

March 12, 2014 916

teamwork-1-1254520-m[We are pleased to welcome Špela Trefalt to Management Ink. Dr. Trefalt’s article “How Network Properties Affect One’s Ability to Obtain Benefits: A Network Simulation” recently appeared in the OnlineFirst section of the Journal of Management Education.]

About four years ago, I started teaching about networks in Executive Education Programs at Simmons School of Management. I wanted to help the participants understand and appreciate the importance of structural properties of networks (centrality, structural holes, multiplexity, strength of ties) and social capital, and I couldn’t find a good way to do that. Lecturing to a group of highly-competent professionals was not my style and I couldn’t find an exercise that would convey these points. So I developed one. Since they, I’ve tried it out with multiple groups of executives and MBA students as well as with undergraduates, and it always worked very well. Students enjoyed it but also learned from it. This is a very low-tech exercise, so get ready for some printing and filling up some envelopes but I promise the investment is worthwhile.

The abstract:

JME_72ppiRGB_powerpointNetworks and the social capital that they carry enable people to get things done, to prosper in their careers, and to feel supported. To develop an effective network, one needs to know more than how to make connections with strangers at a reception; understanding the consequences of network properties on one’s ability to obtain benefits is essential. Such understanding enables students to better assess who to connect to. The simulation described herein enables participants to experience and therefore better understand the consequences of their position within a network and to overcome potential aversion to networking by recognizing its benefits and potential for reciprocity. It has been used effectively with undergraduates, MBA students, and executive audiences.
spela-trefalt_rdax_200x278Dr. Špela Trefalt joined Simmons faculty in 2008, after earning her D.B.A. in Management from the Harvard Business School, her M.B.A. from the University of Kansas, and her B.A. in Law from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. In her research, Dr. Trefalt focuses on the issues of managing the competing demands of work and life outside of work, especially among professionals. She is particularly interested in the role of relationships at work in this process. Her research aims at deepening our understanding of the experiences of individuals with work and non-work demands in order to provide ideas for improving individuals’ well-being by combining their own agency and organizational change. She teaches in the MBA and in Executive Education programs. Prior to her academic career, Trefalt spent six years as a human resources management consultant, and eight years working in the media in Slovenia.

Business and Management INK puts the spotlight on research published in our more than 100 management and business journals. We feature an inside view of the research that’s being published in top-tier SAGE journals by the authors themselves.

View all posts by Business & Management INK

Related Articles

‘Push, Pull, Dance’: Public Health Procurement – Saving Lives and Preventing Harm
Business and Management INK
June 12, 2024

‘Push, Pull, Dance’: Public Health Procurement – Saving Lives and Preventing Harm

Read Now
Beyond Net-Zero Targets: When Do Companies Maximize Their Potential to Reduce Carbon Emissions?
Business and Management INK
June 4, 2024

Beyond Net-Zero Targets: When Do Companies Maximize Their Potential to Reduce Carbon Emissions?

Read Now
How AI-Integration is Changing the Workplace
Business and Management INK
May 28, 2024

How AI-Integration is Changing the Workplace

Read Now
Keeping Qualitative Research Weird!
Business and Management INK
May 23, 2024

Keeping Qualitative Research Weird!

Read Now
Sometimes, We Do Need a Narcissist

Sometimes, We Do Need a Narcissist

Karynne Turner, Feray Adigüzel, and Jatinder S Sidhu reflect on their research article, “Chief executive officer narcissism, corporate inertia, and securities analysts’ stock […]

Read Now
From Collision to Collaboration: Bridging University and Industry Relationships

From Collision to Collaboration: Bridging University and Industry Relationships

In this article, Will Harvey and Paul Spee reflect on the importance of collaboration between industry and universities. This topic was the catalyst for their research article, “Walking the tightrope of academic and practitioner expectations in field research,” found in Management Learning.

Read Now
Motivation of Young Project Professionals: Their Needs for Autonomy, Competence, Relatedness, and Purpose

Motivation of Young Project Professionals: Their Needs for Autonomy, Competence, Relatedness, and Purpose

Young professionals born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s now constitute a majority of the project management workforce. Having grown up connected, collaborative, and mobile, they have specific motivations and needs, which are explored in this study.

Read Now
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments