Social Network Analysis

Go beyond talking about networks and measure them using social network analysis (SNA) and organizational network analysis (ONA). Use SNA/ONA to reveal and understand invisible networks in your organization or your project – especially pertinent when engaging in change management. SNA or ONA allows you to ‘see’ and measure how people (and things) relate formally and informally. SNA/ONA is a powerful approach to achieve deeper understanding of interactions in many areas including Human Resources, organizational change, audit and evaluation, knowledge transfer and mobilization, and journal peer review. Network maps and metrics become key tools to plan, implement and monitor change or measure output and impact.

Our SNA/ONA services

  • We perform SNA/ONA with you: we fully deploy SNA/ONA to meet your needs starting from project design to final report.
  • We provide advice: we review your program/project plan to provide advice on the potential suitability of SNA/ONA to measure and visualize relations, change, output or impact.
  • We train your staff: we provide workshops and learning events on SNA/ONA and network software.

We developed and use innovative SNA/ONA approaches and tools.

Mobilization-Network Approach for Knowledge Mobilization
Science is all about relations. Our mobilization-network approach for knowledge mobilization and ignorance mobilization:

  • Measure academic knowledge mobilization and ignorance mobilization output and impact inside and outside of academia.
  • Our mobilization-network approach captures deep knowledge mobilization beyond publications and presentations and is well-suited to measure mobilization over time.
  • Use laboratory, departmental, or full network maps and data to recruit graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, to apply for new funding or to report on existing funding.

Knowledge and Ignorance Mobilization Maps for Year 1 and Year 7 of a Laboratory in a Network of Centres of Excellence


Above, two knowledge and ignorance mobilization maps highlight differences in mobilization for a basic biology laboratory in year 1 and year 7 in a Network of Centres of Excellence. In the first year, the network for the laboratory (circled in green) had 10 individuals and mobilization activities relating through 14 ties. After seven years, the network laboratory had grown to 366 individuals and mobilization activities relating through 750 ties within and beyond academia.

Journal Peer Review Relational Audit

  • Before you change your journal’s peer review process, how can you analyze the peer review you currently use?
  • How can you reassure authors, referees and readers that the type of peer review you currently employ meets internationally-recognized standards of justice for transparency?

Alpen Path Solutions performs Journal Peer Review Relational Audits. In addition to qualitative analysis of relations (against internationally-recognized standards of transparency) in a journal’s peer review, we use SNA to visualize and quantify transparency relations.

Pre-Publication Journal Peer Review Relations

Relations in Pre-Publication Journal Peer Review

Above in the ideal-type pre-publication journal peer review map (with a published paper), the green relations are ‘open’ (public space) whereas the burgundy relations are secret (restricted space). Overall, some 78% of relations in this ideal-type are secret (not transparent). For rejected manuscripts, 100% of relations in the ideal-type are secret.

SNA for Succession Planning

  • We measure informal advice seeking networks to see knowledge gaps and ensure maximal knowledge transfer.
  • SNA can help identify emergent leaders by making their extensive professional network ties visible.

SNA for Program Evaluation
Alpen Path Solutions uses SNA to make networks visible and measure, for example:

  • Stakeholder engagement and interaction;
  • Funding impact;
  • Program effectiveness; and,
  • Public education and awareness.

Organizational Network Analysis and Lean
How do you measure culture? ONA can help capture an organization’s culture before improvements and following improvements. For process improvement, we combine Lean with ONA to maximize insights into culture and processes.

Using Lean and SNA to understand processes

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