IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/inm/orisre/v24y2013i4p883-905.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Research Commentary ---Information in Digital, Economic, and Social Networks

Author

Listed:
  • Arun Sundararajan

    () (Stern School of Business, New York University, New York, New York 10012)

  • Foster Provost

    () (Stern School of Business, New York University, New York, New York 10012)

  • Gal Oestreicher-Singer

    () (Recanati School of Business, Tel-Aviv University, 69978 Israel)

  • Sinan Aral

    () (Stern School of Business, New York University, New York, New York 10012; and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139)

Abstract

Digital technologies have made networks ubiquitous. A growing body of research is examining these networks to gain a better understanding of how firms interact with their consumers, how people interact with each other, and how current and future digital artifacts will continue to alter business and society. The increasing availability of massive networked data has led to several streams of inquiry across fields as diverse as computer science, economics, information systems, marketing, physics, and sociology. Each of these research streams asks questions that at their core involve “information in networks”---its distribution, its diffusion, its inferential value, and its influence on social and economic outcomes. We suggest a broad direction for research into social and economic networks. Our analysis describes four kinds of investigation that seem most promising. The first studies how information technologies create and reveal networks whose connections represent social and economic relationships. The second examines the content that flows through networks and its economic, social, and organizational implications. A third develops theories and methods to understand and utilize the rich predictive information contained in networked data. A final area of inquiry focuses on network dynamics and how information technology affects network evolution. We conclude by discussing several important cross-cutting issues with implications for all four research streams, which must be addressed if the ensuing research is to be both rigorous and relevant. We also describe how these directions of inquiry are interconnected: results and ideas will pollinate across them, leading to a new cumulative research tradition.

Suggested Citation

  • Arun Sundararajan & Foster Provost & Gal Oestreicher-Singer & Sinan Aral, 2013. "Research Commentary ---Information in Digital, Economic, and Social Networks," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 24(4), pages 883-905, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:orisre:v:24:y:2013:i:4:p:883-905
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/isre.1120.0472
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Raghuram Iyengar & Christophe Van den Bulte & Thomas W. Valente, 2011. "Opinion Leadership and Social Contagion in New Product Diffusion," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(2), pages 195-212, 03-04.
    2. Armin Falk & James J. Heckman, 2009. "Lab Experiments are a Major Source of Knowledge in the Social Sciences," Working Papers 200935, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    3. Bramoullé, Yann & Djebbari, Habiba & Fortin, Bernard, 2009. "Identification of peer effects through social networks," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 150(1), pages 41-55, May.
    4. Ritu Agarwal & Anil K. Gupta & Robert Kraut, 2008. "Editorial Overview ---The Interplay Between Digital and Social Networks," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 19(3), pages 243-252, September.
    5. Chrysanthos Dellarocas, 2006. "Strategic Manipulation of Internet Opinion Forums: Implications for Consumers and Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(10), pages 1577-1593, October.
    6. Rob Cross & Lee Sproull, 2004. "More Than an Answer: Information Relationships for Actionable Knowledge," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(4), pages 446-462, August.
    7. Anjana Susarla & Jeong-Ha Oh & Yong Tan, 2012. "Social Networks and the Diffusion of User-Generated Content: Evidence from YouTube," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 23(1), pages 23-41, March.
    8. Wu, Fang & Huberman, Bernardo A. & Adamic, Lada A. & Tyler, Joshua R., 2004. "Information flow in social groups," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 337(1), pages 327-335.
    9. Jeppesen, Lars Bo & Laursen, Keld, 2009. "The role of lead users in knowledge sharing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1582-1589, December.
    10. Jungpil Hahn & Jae Yun Moon & Chen Zhang, 2008. "Emergence of New Project Teams from Open Source Software Developer Networks: Impact of Prior Collaboration Ties," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 19(3), pages 369-391, September.
    11. Sinan Aral, 2011. "Commentary--Identifying Social Influence: A Comment on Opinion Leadership and Social Contagion in New Product Diffusion," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(2), pages 217-223, 03-04.
    12. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
    13. Amalia R. Miller & Catherine Tucker, 2009. "Privacy Protection and Technology Diffusion: The Case of Electronic Medical Records," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(7), pages 1077-1093, July.
    14. Richard L. Daft & Robert H. Lengel, 1986. "Organizational Information Requirements, Media Richness and Structural Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(5), pages 554-571, May.
    15. Oliver Hinz & Martin Spann, 2008. "The Impact of Information Diffusion on Bidding Behavior in Secret Reserve Price Auctions," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 19(3), pages 351-368, September.
    16. George Kuk, 2006. "Strategic Interaction and Knowledge Sharing in the KDE Developer Mailing List," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1031-1042, July.
    17. Puneet Manchanda & Ying Xie & Nara Youn, 2008. "The Role of Targeted Communication and Contagion in Product Adoption," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(6), pages 961-976, 11-12.
    18. Ronald S. Burt, 2008. "Information and structural holes: comment on Reagans and Zuckerman," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(5), pages 953-969, October.
    19. Sungjoon Nam & Puneet Manchanda & Pradeep K. Chintagunta, 2010. "The Effect of Signal Quality and Contiguous Word of Mouth on Customer Acquisition for a Video-on-Demand Service," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(4), pages 690-700, 07-08.
    20. Anindya Ghose & Sang Pil Han, 2011. "An Empirical Analysis of User Content Generation and Usage Behavior on the Mobile Internet," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(9), pages 1671-1691, September.
    21. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    22. Zsolt Katona & Miklos Sarvary, 2008. "Network Formation and the Structure of the Commercial World Wide Web," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(5), pages 764-778, 09-10.
    23. Sinan Aral & Erik Brynjolfsson & Marshall Van Alstyne, 2012. "Information, Technology, and Information Worker Productivity," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 23(3-part-2), pages 849-867, September.
    24. Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal, 2009. "Influencing the influencers: a theory of strategic diffusion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(3), pages 509-532, September.
    25. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704.
    26. Samer Faraj & Steven L. Johnson, 2011. "Network Exchange Patterns in Online Communities," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(6), pages 1464-1480, December.
    27. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    28. Yingda Lu & Kinshuk Jerath & Param Vir Singh, 2013. "The Emergence of Opinion Leaders in a Networked Online Community: A Dyadic Model with Time Dynamics and a Heuristic for Fast Estimation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(8), pages 1783-1799, August.
    29. David Godes & Dina Mayzlin, 2004. "Using Online Conversations to Study Word-of-Mouth Communication," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(4), pages 545-560, June.
    30. Matthias Trier, 2008. "Research Note ---Towards Dynamic Visualization for Understanding Evolution of Digital Communication Networks," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 19(3), pages 335-350, September.
    31. Leo Katz, 1953. "A new status index derived from sociometric analysis," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 18(1), pages 39-43, March.
    32. Mingfeng Lin & Nagpurnanand R. Prabhala & Siva Viswanathan, 2013. "Judging Borrowers by the Company They Keep: Friendship Networks and Information Asymmetry in Online Peer-to-Peer Lending," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(1), pages 17-35, August.
    33. Rajdeep Grewal & Gary L. Lilien & Girish Mallapragada, 2006. "Location, Location, Location: How Network Embeddedness Affects Project Success in Open Source Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1043-1056, July.
    34. Bramoulle, Yann & Kranton, Rachel, 2007. "Public goods in networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 478-494, July.
    35. Catherine Tucker, 2008. "Identifying Formal and Informal Influence in Technology Adoption with Network Externalities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(12), pages 2024-2038, December.
    36. Gerald C. Kane & Maryam Alavi, 2008. "Casting the Net: A Multimodal Network Perspective on User-System Interactions," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 19(3), pages 253-272, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jeborg:v:143:y:2017:i:c:p:133-146 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Samer Faraj & Georg von Krogh & Eric Monteiro & Karim R. Lakhani, 2016. "Special Section Introduction—Online Community as Space for Knowledge Flows," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 27(4), pages 668-684, December.
    3. Sinan Aral & Dylan Walker, 2014. "Tie Strength, Embeddedness, and Social Influence: A Large-Scale Networked Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(6), pages 1352-1370, June.
    4. Sinan Aral & Chrysanthos Dellarocas & David Godes, 2013. "Introduction to the Special Issue ---Social Media and Business Transformation: A Framework for Research," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 24(1), pages 3-13, March.
    5. repec:gei:journl:v:5:y:2018:i:2:p:40-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Hanna Krasnova & Thomas Widjaja & Peter Buxmann & Helena Wenninger & Izak Benbasat, 2015. "Research Note—Why Following Friends Can Hurt You: An Exploratory Investigation of the Effects of Envy on Social Networking Sites among College-Age Users," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 26(3), pages 585-605, September.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:orisre:v:24:y:2013:i:4:p:883-905. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Matthew Walls). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/inforea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.