One of the key components to a social network analysis (SNA) is the designing of the questions.
Here are some examples of some questions often used in SNA*:
- Whom do you typically turn to for help in thinking through a new or challenging problem at work?
- Whom are you likely to turn to in order to discuss a new or innovative idea?
- Whom do you typically give work-related information?
- Whom do you turn to for input prior to making an important decision?
- Whom do you feel has contributed to your professional growth and development?
- Whom do you trust to keep your best interests in mind?
These listing of questions reflect all kinds of qualities like trust, communication flow, problem solving networks etc.
You can face a real dilemma however, if, once having designed the questions you get feedback like “we are not sure this survey should go across our teams” or even worse “ we don’t feel comfortable revealing our names in this survey so we would like to make it anonymous”.
Such problems bring up a really good, but maybe often overlooked point. How the group will actually make sense of your wonderful SNA questions? One approach to this conflict may lay in the use of our Power Law. Simply raise the power of the group that you are working with. Involve them, collaboratively, in a discussion around the design of the social network analysis.
(*-See The hidden power of social networks )
About Andrew Rixon