Understanding the Ties that Bind: A Longitudinal Investigation of the Evolution of a Communication Network

Noshir S. Contractor, Robert C. Whitbred, Fabio Fonti, Christian Steglich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Current understanding of the emergence of communication networks is hindered by at least two limitations: (a) studies tend to incorporate only 1 theoretical mechanism, and (b) studies tend to be cross-sectional. We address these concerns by analyzing the influence of 11 factors on the evolution of a communication network over 2 years. Our model is grounded in the multitheory, multilevel framework, and our analysis uses recently developed actor-oriented techniques for statistically modeling network emergence. Results suggest accurate and complete understanding of network evolution depends on studies simultaneously incorporating multiple theories that offer both complementary and contrasting explanations of the phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-357
Number of pages25
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Volume76
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2012

Keywords

  • Emergent Communication Networks
  • MTML Framework
  • Network Evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication

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