Social network analysis (SNA) has become increasingly popular in many scientific applications and is applied widely in human resource development (HRD) research. Leveraging social networks can influence learning processes within organizations and provide opportunities for problem-solving and the generation of new ideas. This article offers a look at the methodological basics of analyzing social networks and the major concepts in social capital theory from the social network perspective. A practical case is made to use SNA in the HRD context. After an analysis of hypothetical network data and application of social capital theory, the case shows how some actors in the network can create social capital from strong supportive relations, whereas others might expect to gain brokerage advantages by playing a role in structural holes. This article also serves as a brief guide for beginners using SNA with R in HRD research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management