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Research Methods for Studying Groups and Teams by Marshall Scott Poole, Andrea Hollingshead

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15

UNDERSTANDING GROUPS FROMA NETWORK PERSPECTIVE

Noshir S. Contractor

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

Chunke Su

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON

There is a long-standing, albeit modest, tradition of applying network approaches to the study of groups starting with the launch of the Group Networks Laboratory at MIT shortly after World War II by Alex Bavelas. However, many group researchers, especially those not familiar with network research methods, are often frustrated and challenged by this methodological approach. Thus the goal of this chapter is to offer readers a pragmatic guidebook based on our experiences applying a social network approach to studying groups.

A fundamental commitment to incorporate relational and structural explanations along ...

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