My personal opinions on Kadushin concepts, theories on Small Groups, Leadership, and Social Network:
1. Do not agree that there are “pure” systems. I don’t think there are any pure systems. Network’s extend outside of the “network box”.
2. Leadership: How are informal leaders determined? In addtion to people choosing a leader, do some leaders choose themselves to be in that role? If an informal leader is not respected by all group members is this a “true” leader?
Summary of the concepts and theories and definitions for COMM 506 presentation
everyone knows each other
actions of the members of the networks are visible to all
are individual people rather than collective actors
are the “primitives” of social network analysis
How and why small groups are formed
Motivation to establish rankings (safety, effectance, status)
Defining the boundaries using balance theory and triads
Why are small groups important to analyze?
Small group networks will be used to compare the informal small groups with the formal systems of organizations.
Formal System or External System:
Primary and face-to-face groups in which relationships are recommended by the organization.
Primary Group: interactive unit that is observed by an outsider
Informal System or Internal System:
- Small “formal” groups develop clusters or cliques
- The cliques are formed by ties and common sentiments
- These “informal groups” develop or reinforce certain common ideas or styles of relating to one another
- Cliques will naturally form a ranking system.
- The “informal” leaders are those who rank the highest and are the most “preferred” because they enforce the “norms” of the group.
Homans’s lists eight propositions but they do not differentiate between the external and internal systems as the informal system is embedded within the external system.
Kadushin states these systems need to be differentiated by finding informal systems that are “pure”.
Homan: interaction leads to sentiment, and in turn to interaction, and in turn to a ranking system with leaders”.
Pure Informal Systems
- “Network in a box” or where boundaries are very clear.
- Everyone in network can “see” everyone.
- Relationships are likely to be symmetrical
How to locate Pure Informal Systems
Use empirical tests of the sociological concept of group:
- Triadic balance theory (if all three relations are positive or if two are negative and one is positive)
- Granovetter’s concept of weak and strong ties
- G transitive (two people are strongly connected but the third is weakly tied to the other two)
- Pure informal groups are rare so this method has been not used often
As pure informal systems are rare most informal systems are embedded in the formal system. This leads to evaluating the asymmetric ties and the influences of the external system.
- Kadushin states that “individual interactions and motivations are components of Homans’s sentiments”
- The three key reasons, as discussed in chapter five, why people are motivated to interact is 1. safety or affiliation 2. Effectance and 3. Seek status or rank.
- People differ in the strength of these motivations so the shape of the system is not entirely dependent on the external system or the dynamics of interaction
Formalizing the System
The advantage is to create conclusions which are based on Gould’s mathematical formulation using attachments received, social influence, and actor quality.
The propositions are:
- Asymmetry: is proportion to the differences in ranking
- Asymmetry declines with group size
- Actor who are similar with respect to quality get similar choices from similar others and , consequently, direct similar choices to these others
- Since actors direct choices to others in proportion to those received, actors with the highest number of choices received are also those with the highest degree of interaction directed toward others.