Generating ideas, connections, and action

Social Network Analysis and the Evaluation of Leadership Networks

Leadership development practitioners have become increasingly interested in the formation of leadership networks as a way to sustain and strengthen relationships among leaders within and across organizations, communities, and systems. Bruce Hoppe and I recently wrote a paper (see below for the attachment) that offers a framework for conceptualizing different types of leadership networks and identifies the outcomes that are typically associated with each type of network.

One of the challenges for the field of leadership development has been how to evaluate leadership networks. Social Network Analysis (SNA) is a promising evaluation approach that can be used to visually represent relationships between people, organizations, sectors, silos, communities and other entities within a larger system. Core social network concepts are introduced and explained in this paper in order to illuminate the value of SNA as an evaluation and program tool, and provide some cautions about its use.

Bruce and I would appreciate any feedback you have on the paper. Does it give you a useful framework for understanding leadership networks? Do you feel like you have a better understanding of social network analysis and how it might be useful as an evaluation tool? What questions do you have about the paper or this topic in general?

Here is a link to the pdf