Our new volume is published by Cambridge University Press
Network science is the key to managing social communities, designing the structure of efficient
organizations and planning for sustainable development. This book applies network science to
contemporary social policy problems. In the first part, tools of diffusion and team design are
deployed to challenges in adoption of ideas and the management of creativity. Ideas, unlike
information, are generated and adopted in networks of personal ties. Chapters in the second
part tackle problems of power and malfeasance in political and business organizations, where
mechanisms in accessing and controlling informal networks often outweigh formal processes.
The third part uses ideas from biology and physics to understand global economic and financial
crises, ecological depletion and challenges to energy security. Ideal for researchers and
policy makers involved in social network analysis, business strategy and economic policy, it
deals with issues ranging from what makes public advisories effective to how networks influence
excessive executive compensation..
for Network Science:
started organizing a new research center at CEU last spring. The
center received support from the university - a pilot grant to
start operations. With a postdoctoral research fellow, Marco Scotti
(an Italian ecologist, researcher of food webs) we started to
set up operations at the center. We are organizing a conference
for June 2009 (June 17-18: "The Unexpected Link"), and
we applied for two major European research grants so far. We set
up a website for the center: http://web2.ceu.hu/cns.
I was awarded the 2011 Karoly Polanyi Prize for Best Journal Article of the Hungarian Sociological Association, for our article with David Stark, "Structural Folds: Generative Disruption in Overlapping Groups,"
American Journal of Sociology, vol. 115, no. 4 (January 2010) pages 1150-1190.
I was awarded the 2011 EAS Prize for Best Article of the European Academy of Sociology, for our article with David Stark, "Structural Folds: Generative Disruption in Overlapping Groups,"
American Journal of Sociology, vol. 115, no. 4 (January 2010) pages 1150-1190.
I was awarded the 2011 Roger V. Gould Prize for our article with David Stark, "Structural Folds: Generative Disruption in Overlapping Groups,"
American Journal of Sociology, vol. 115, no. 4 (January 2010) pages 1150-1190. The prize will be presented as the winners at the AJS editors’
luncheon at this year’s ASA meetings in Las Vegas (Sunday, August 21, 2011). The award committee (the AJS editorial board) noted that: "While eligible papers were drawn from
72 AJS articles published over a two-year period, the list of contenders was eventually narrowed down to eight finalists, all of them very fine papers.
The AJS editorial board was impressed by your use of real world data to isolate key structural features of networks likely to generate innovation and creativity.
The argument is theoretically rich and analytically meticulous; it lays bare important features of networks of entrepreneurial collaboration while offering,
more generally, a compelling story about the dynamism of social groups. And specifically we liked the fact that you are trying to push networks towards dynamism.
The paper may not have all the answers, but it is bold and ambitious. We’re very pleased to offer this article special recognition."
I was awarded the Viviana Zelizer Award for best article in economic sociology, given annually by the Economic Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association,
for our article with David Stark, "Structural Folds: Generative Disruption in Overlapping Groups,"
American Journal of Sociology, vol. 115, no. 4 (January 2010) pages 1150-1190..
A plaque recognizing this award will be presented to each of you at the Section' reception during the forthcoming ASA meetings in Las Vegas.
This will take place on Monday, August 22nd between 6:00 and 8:00 P.M
I was awarded the W. Richard Scott Award for Distinguished Scholarship for our article with David Stark, "Social Times of Network Spaces: Network
Sequences and Foreign Investment in Hungary," American Journal of Sociology, vol. 111, no. 5 (March 2006) pages 1367-1411.
The W. Richard Scott Award for Distinguished Scholarship is granted by the Organizations, Occupations, and Work section of the American Sociological Association,
for an outstanding contribution to the discipline in an article on organizations,
occupations and work published within the last three years. The awad committee noted that:
"With a high number of excellent submissions, the winning paper stood out for its creative and original analysis of evolving organizational
networks in a changing historical context. Stark and Vedres develop a highly innovative social sequence analysis to chart the changing network positions
of 1,696 firms during a period (1987-2001) of rapidly increasing foreign ownership in Hungary. Their findings indicate the important and potentially
positive role of foreign ownership in rapidly developing economies, with broad implications for our understanding of globalization and social change."
The award will be given at the joint OOW-Econ Soc reception at the ASA,
Monday August 10th between 6:30 and 8:30 PM in the Hilton Hotel
Our research proposal “How Network Structures Explain Creativity” to the
US National Science Foundation was supported by a grant of 159 000 USD.
We have completed a new manuscript with Laszlo Bruszt: "Local developmental agency from without".
Decades of increase in external aid programs sparked a wide range of criticisms pointing to misaligned interests, lack of accountability,
and the reproduction of developmental traps. The success of development from without is more likely if it generates domestic developmental
agency. In this article, we contribute by conceptualizing and measuring dimensions of developmental agency. Our research analyzes the
strategic case of European Union regional development programs in Eastern Europe, where this external organization spent nearly a decade
on establishing local developmental agency. We collected survey data of 1200 local organizations from two regions in each of Czech Republic,
Hungary and Poland. We examine the post-accession position of organizations that participated in pre-accession assistance programs.
We test a hypothesis of marginalization in the framework of recentralized developmental governance, and we examine links between patterns
of pre-accession involvement and post-accession developmental agency. We identify factors that might make external developmental programs
more likely to foster local developmental agency.
Closure: Intercohesion and Entrepreneurial Dynamics in Business
Groups." The twinned challenge for entrepreneurial groups
is recognizing new ideas and implementing them. In one view, connectivity
reaching outside the group
channels new ideas while closure makes it possible to act on them.
We argue that entrepreneurship is not about importing information
but about generating new knowledge through recombining resources.
In contrast to the brokerage-plus-closure perspective, we identify
a distinctive network position, intercohesion, at the overlap
of cohesive group structures. The multiple insiders at this intercohesive
position participate in dense cohesive ties that provide close
familiarity with the operations of the members in their group.
But because they are members of multiple cohesive groups, they
have familiar access to diverse resources. We first test whether
intercohesion contributes to higher group performance. Second,
because entrepreneurship is a process of creative disruption,
we test intercohesion’s contribution to group instability.
Third, moving from dynamic methods to historical network analysis,
we demonstrate that coherence is a property of interwoven lineages
of cohesion built up through separating and reuniting in an ongoing
pattern of interweaving by which business groups manage instability
while benefitting from intercohesion. To study the evolution of
business groups, our dataset records personnel ties among the
largest 1,696 Hungarian enterprises from 1987-2001.
The Politics of
Civic Combinations appeared in Voluntas.
In this paper we explore the ways in which partnerships with the
state within state-led developmental programs might effect the
autonomy of civic organizations and their readiness to enter in
political action. We did not find support for the theses that
mixing with the state might undermine the autonomy of COs and
lead to their political neutralization. Also, we did not find
support for the hypotheses that political action is solely about
money or it is the property of non autonomous NGOs. We have identified
several mechanisms that allow COs to combine participation in
partnership projects with maintained autonomy and political activism.
Pathways from Postsocialism
appeared in European
Management Review. In this article I demonstrate that
relational strategies devised to buffer uncertainties of social
change are vulnerable to subsequent path dependencies. The literature
of postsocialism is divided about the significance of
intermediate ownership forms for subsequent market consolidation.
To identify path dependencies I analyze the ownership sequences
and performance of the 200 largest Hungarian firms in 1999. I
use optimal matching analysis to identify pathways, and dynamic
scaling analysis to delimit ownership regimes. I test hypotheses
about path dependencies by regression models of performance. Network
forms buffered uncertainties between 1992 and 1995, contributing
to high labor and capital efficiency. After this period domestic
network forms locked firms in, leading to inferior performance
compared to manager buy-outs, domestic subsidiaries, and foreign
owned firms. Joint ventures on the other hand provided protection
and later the option for concentrating ownership, outperforming
publics: Integrating foreign ties and civic activism"
appeared in Theory
and Society, Volume 35, Number 3. Abstract: Can civic
organizations be both locally rooted and globally connected? Based
on a survey of 1,002 of the largest civic organizations in Hungary,
we conclude that there is not a forced choice between foreign
ties and domestic integration. By studying variation in types
of foreign interactions and variation in types of domestic integration,
our analysis goes beyond notions of footloose experts versus rooted
cosmopolitans. Organizations differ in their rootedness according
to whether they have ties to their members and constituents, whether
they have ties to other organizations in the civic sector, and
whether they associate with actors from outside the civic sector.
Similarly, we specify different types of foreign ties. In both
domains our emphasis is on the type of action involved in the
tieespecially relations of accountability and partnership.
By demonstrating a systematic relationship between the patterns
of foreign ties and the patterns of domestic integration, we chart
three emerging forms of transnational publics.
Our article, "Social
Times of Network Spaces", co-authored with David Stark,
appeared in the American
Journal of Sociology, Vol
111, no 5. (Here is a link
to the PDF version from the AJS electronic edition.) In this
article we model, from its inception, inter-enterprise network
formation and its interaction with foreign investment across an
entire epoch of rapid and profound economic transformation, we
gathered data on the
complete ownership histories of 1,696 of the largest Hungarian
enterprises from 1987to 2001. We develop a combination of network
and sequence analysis to identify distinctive pathways whereby
firms use network resources to buffer uncertainty, hide or restructure
assets, or gain knowledge and legitimacy. During this period,
networked property grew, stabilized, and involved a growing proportion
of foreign capital. Cohesive networks of recombinant property
were robust, and in fact integrated foreign investment. Although
multinationals, through their subsidiaries, dissolved ties in
joint venture arrangements, we find evidence that they also built
durable networks. Our findings suggest that developing economies
do not necessarily face a forced choice between networks of global
reach and those of local embeddedness.
My article on the potential of accountability in research and
academic life in the European Union "The
social structure of research accountability: Regimes
of worth, claims of representation, and networks of accountability
in research" has appeared in Foresight
Europe no. 2. The real accountability issue is not just how
public money is spent, but whether science is helping to further
sustainable development. Answering this question requires us to
consider the interplay between the different ways we value things,
the different people who claim the right to attach values, and
the different ways they connect to each other. Research is at
the intersection of several regimes that might conflict. All of
the dimensions along which research is typically held accountable
can be justified in a credible way, but creativity should remain
the most important dimension of accountability. Rather than seeking
to suppress conflicts, we must look for innovative combinations
of dimensions of accountability. Research projects that are accountable
to many standards are preferable, because they make research a
factor of social integration.
Our article "Organizing Technologies: Genre Forms of Online
Civic Association in Eastern Europe" with Laszo Bruszt and
David Stark appeared in The
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
This is the abstract: How do civic associations in Eastern Europe
organize themselves online? Based on data collected on 1,585 East
European civil society Web sites, the authors identify five
emergent genres of organizing technologies: newsletters, interactive
platforms, multilingual solicitations, directories, and brochures.
These clusters do not correspond to stages of development. Moreover,
newer Web sites are more likely to be typical of their genre,suggesting
that forms are becoming more distinctive. In contrast to the utopian
image of a de-territorialized, participatory global civil society,
the authors’ examination of the structure of hyperlinks
finds that transnational types of Web sites are not inclined to
be participatory. Whereas other paradigms focus on inequality
of users’ online access, the authors probe inequality in
the accessibility of Web sites to potential users through search
engine technology and show how this varies across different types
of civil society Web sites.