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Email Based Institutional Network Analysis: Applications and Risks

European Commission, Joint Research Centre, c/Inca Garcilaso 3, E-41092 Sevilla, Spain
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Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(11), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8110306
Received: 24 September 2019 / Revised: 30 October 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and Social Sciences)
Social Network Analysis can be applied to describe the patterns of communication within an organisation. We explore how extending standard methods, by accounting for the direction and volume of emails, can reveal information regarding the roles of individual members. We propose an approach that models certain operational aspects of the organization, based on directional and weighted indicators. The approach is transferable to other types of social network with asymmetrical connections among its members. However, its applicability is limited by privacy concerns, the existence of multiple alternative communication channels that evolve over time, the difficulty of establishing clear links between organisational structure and efficiency and, most importantly, the challenge of setting up a system that measures the impact of communication behavior without influencing the communication behaviour itself. View Full-Text
Keywords: social network analysis; email traffic; centrality; closeness; clustering effect; graph theory; complex networks; machine learning; Big Data; organisational dynamics social network analysis; email traffic; centrality; closeness; clustering effect; graph theory; complex networks; machine learning; Big Data; organisational dynamics
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Christidis, P.; Gomez Losada, Á. Email Based Institutional Network Analysis: Applications and Risks. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 306.

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