Title page for ETD etd-04012010-140925

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Zaaiman, Sophia Maria
URN etd-04012010-140925
Document Title The existence and form of social networks in organisations
Degree MBA
Department Gordon Institute of Business Science
Advisor Name Title
Prof M Sutherland Supervisor
  • social networks
Date 2007-04-07
Availability unrestricted

The concept of social networks has emerged as a new direction in the theory of organisational behaviour. Informal networks are widely understood to contribute to innovation, collaboration and learning in organisations. Competitive advantage, or social capital from social networks, can greatly aid an organisation in the business environment. The purpose of this research project was to establish whether and in what form social networks existed in South African organisations.

Based on the literature review three research questions were developed. In this quantitative research project surveys were conducted in various companies using paper questionnaires. Eighty respondents reported on five of their own contacts providing a contact profile batch of 400 people. Equal numbers of people of different race and gender completed the questionnaire. Descriptive and comparative statistics were used to analyse the data.

Importantly the results showed that almost half of the employees felt excluded from social network participation in their companies. Homophily was identified as a strong divider that caused race based networking. Gender was found to be not so strong a divisive factor as anticipated. Despite an abundance of networking biases, a diverse network-context knowledge sharing model was developed.

2006 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Zaaiman, SM 2006, The existence and form of social networks in organisations, MBA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-04012010-140925/ >


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