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The structure of business social network sites: the case of Milan IN

The structure of business social network sites: the case of Milan IN

Pais, Ivana, De Vita, Riccardo and Marmo, Roberto (2010) The structure of business social network sites: the case of Milan IN. In: Sunbelt XXX - International Sunbelt Social Network Conference, 29 Jun - 4 July 2010, Trento, Italy.

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In recent years, the evident role of social networks in shaping economic phenomena has caught the attention of both practitioners and researchers. The increasing relevance of social networks and the development of adequate technological support facilitated the emergence of several ‘intentional organisations’ aimed at building, making visible and maintaining social networks. A specific category of such organisations is represented by business social network services (BSNSs). BSNSs can assume two main forms: in presence (business club) or online (business social network sites).

In spite of a growing body of literature studying the structure of online social networks, less is known about the specific structure of online business social network services. Furthermore the majority of the studies focused on the understanding of the effects of social networks; while the factors that generate, sustain and reproduce them partly remain to be explored. In this paper we try to address these research issues by presenting the first findings of an exploratory study of a business social network service. The selected case study is Milan IN, a non profit association set up in 2005 to facilitate the interaction of members of LinkedIn living or working in the Milan area. Milan IN registers more than 5,300 members, 1359 of them also using a dedicated Facebook group. We employ social network analysis techniques to describe the connections of those members also registered in the Facebook group. Both structural and composition variables are used to measure and discuss global and local properties of the network.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: This paper forms part of the the published proceedings from XXX International Sunbelt Social Network Conference held at Riva del Garda, Italy, June 29-July 4 2010
Uncontrolled Keywords: social capital, economic networks, occupations, network structure, networking motivation, social networks sites
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC) > Centre for Business Network Analysis (CBNA)
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Last Modified: 11 Mar 2022 13:30

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