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SBE 2020: Submission Detail

ID Number: 102
Title: Networks of action in social science research
Lead Author: Pentland, Brian T
Abstract: Social and economic research has traditionally focused on familiar units of analysis, such as individuals, groups and firms. In this white paper, I suggest that networks of action might provide a fruitful addition to our repertoire as a basic unit of analysis in social and economic research. A network of action can be used to represent recognizable, repetitive patterns of interdependent actions, typically carried out by multiple actors. Such patterns are the foundation of economic organization (e.g., organizational routines) and social institutions in general. Two current trends make research on action networks feasible: (a) on-going improvement in our tools for pattern recognition and network analysis; and (b) increased availability of data that results from digitization of economic and social processes. Reversing figure and ground, and focusing on actions, rather than actors, provides an opportunity to address social and economic research from a new perspective.
PDF: Pentland_Brian_102.pdf

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