Social network analysis
Understanding the value of social networks for innovation.
Innovation is a social process, meaning all organisations that are seeking to innovate — whether large or small, public or private — can't afford to ignore social networks. Understanding the structures and dynamics of these networks – ‘it’s who you know as well as what you know’ – allows organisations to identify and mitigate the barriers to innovation.
Social Network Research Lab (SNRL)
We are a world-leader in the development and application of cutting-edge statistical models for social networks. As part of the Centre for Transformative Innovation, we have access to unique datasets and computational facilities supported by world-leading data scientists. We demonstrate in-depth understanding of the relationships and social processes that occur between people in organisations and answer questions such as:
- What is an effective alignment of informal social networks and formal organisational structures on innovation performance?
- How do we effectively transfer knowledge in geographically dispersed organisations?
- How is the culture of organisations influenced by informal social networks?
- What does an effective network look like?
We use Social Network Analysis (SNA) to visually map networks. We specialise in statistical modelling of networks to identify the structural patterns that such maps may not make clear. In doing so, our team provides unparalleled insights into the structure and effectiveness of networks. Our network techniques provide decision-makers with evidence-based insights from which they can pursue targeted interventions for their organisation or community.
The Social Network Research Lab is a founding member of the Australian Network for Social Network Analysis (ANSNA), a community that aims to build greater coordination and collaboration among social network researchers and practitioners in Australia and overseas. We’re also one of two nodes of Melnet, the Melbourne-based consortium of universities expert in social network analysis.
Networks and organisations
Innovation is a social process, so we use social network analysis to understand the informal social interactions between people that underpin innovation, knowledge transfer and effective collaborations within organisations.
Network effectiveness and network intervention
Relationships matter, but how? Network effectiveness focuses on how different network structures are effective for various goals and how they are important for the organisations and communities in which these networks are embedded. How we make changes to networks is through network interventions — by changing social ties, for example, due to COVID-19 and social distancing.
New insights to networks come from the development of new methods. These new methods must be based on real and appropriate theories of how the world works. We develop state-of-the-art statistical models for social networks that bring method and theory closer together so that we can apply these models for maximum insight and impact.
Find out more about statistic network models.
COVID-19 spread in Melbourne 2020
See an animation that demonstrates the speed and far reach of COVID-19 spread throughout Melbourne from March to October 2020 and is a stark reminder to Victorians to continue to practice physical distancing and follow isolation/quarantine orders. The animation was created by Associate Professor Peng Wang, Professor Dean Lusher and Dr Giovanni Radhitio Sadewo and commissioned by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
The Social Network Research Lab has a range of current and past projects.
Current research projects
- Innovation across global boundaries with Boeing
- Social networks and COVID-19: Optimising isolation, quarantine and distancing — a study of COVID-19 in Australia, in partnership with the Burnet Institute and the Doherty Institute
- Mapping collaboration: CSIRO–Swinburne strategic collaboration
- Technical advice-seeking approaches of international polymer scientists
- The role of networks for Australian biotechnology companies
- Assessing the AFL’s anti-vilification laws
- Researching community recovery, mental health and social networks for bushfire survivors
- Researching gender and its implications for company boards
- Industry 4.0 knowledge transfer within Siemens
- Understanding project collaboration in the production of bespoke large-scale art installations at UAP
- Australian Council Educational Research Social Network Analysis of Alumni for Kiribati
- Examining the impact of COVID-19 on school teachers with Teachers Health Fund
- Targeted interventions of contact networks: A network analytics approach to reducing the spread of COVID-19 for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
|Peng Wang||CTI Associate Director||Networks methods and statistical network models|
|Dean Lusher||Professor of Innovation Studies||Networks and organisations; network effectiveness; network intervention|
|James Coutinho||Research Fellow||Networks and organisations; organisation studies; business management|
|Bopha Roden||Research Fellow||Networks and organisations (innovation); networks and marketing|
|John Webb||Professorial Fellow||Networks and organisations|
|Thomas Spurling||Professorial Fellow||Networks and organisations|
|Eva Kyndt||Professorial Research Fellow||Human resource development|
|Michael Gilding||Adjunct Professor||Networks and organisations; networked innovation; network dynamics and diffusion|
|Garry Robins||Adjunct Professor||Network methods and statistical network models; network effectiveness and network intervention; networks and organisations|
|Julia Brennecke||Adjunct Researcher||Networks and organisations|
|Till Klein||Adjunct Researcher||Networks and organisations; network dynamics and diffusion|
||Networks and mental health
|Sarah King||Adjunct Researcher||Networks and organisations (innovation)|
|Andrew Terhorst||Adjunct Researcher||Networks and organisations|
|Adam Finch||PhD candidate||Networks and organisations|
|Harry Toukalas||PhD candidate||Networks and organisations|
Explore our other research themes
Contact the Centre for Transformative Innovation
There are many ways to engage with us. Whether you’re a PhD student, from the media or an organisation looking to form a partnership, contact the Centre on +61 3 9214 4861 or via email@example.com.