Social Network Analysis
When determining the centrality of a node, one is really measuring the network's location in measures of: 1) Degrees- the number of direct connections a node has, or in my own words, "how popular" a node is. In dealing within a circle of friends, "the more, the better" is also a rarely true or honest statement. What really matters is how many true friends you have, or how they connect you when you seem to be unconnected. 2)Betweenness-referring to a node's location within a network. If you have high betweenness, then you play a very powerful and influential role within the network because others solely rely on you for direction. Like Beth suggests, "Bob"who plays on both the soccer and football team can be considered a bridge between the football and soccer players...without Bob, the two teams are socially alienated. 3) Closeness- the pattern, or length, of paths linked to others can greatly affect communication efficiency and how fast information flows within the network.
Boundary spanners are crucial within the SNA because they are the central nodes that are responsible for connecting all the local nodes together so that they ultimately form an organization. The peripheral players, although not central, are crucial in developing relationships outside of the company. If an organization does not know what the world is demanding, or their competition, then they would fail from blindness outside of the company. Like the skin being the most important organ on the human body, the nodes on the periphery are most important when considering a network's survival.
Like Carrie said, this model's downfall lies in the fact that it only shows communication network in a strategic form. The value, or quality, of information should also be worthy of considering, not just the way nodes are linked. It is important for an organization to be aware of the relationships between nodes because this information reveals the network's overall ability to communicate with one another, which is a crucial element in the mixture of success.