Social Networks of Researchers in Business To Business Marketing: A Case Study of the IMP Group 1984-1999
Science is a social process that functions through social networks of researchers that form invisible colleges. Analysis of these social networks provides a means for examining the structure of relations among researchers. The Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) group, "an informal international group of scholars concerned with developing concepts and knowledge in the field of business-to-business marketing and purchasing," is used as a case study of a network of researchers because it has been responsible for considerable research over the last decades in the area of business-to-business marketing, yet its structure remains hidden because of its informal network characteristics. The results of a social network analysis of the IMP group is described based on the pattern of co-authorship at annual IMP conferences. The results reveal a power law distribution of paper co-authorship and a small world network that conforms to the results of studies of other types of social networks. A core network of 57 researchers is identified and its network properties are described, including how it has evolved over time. The study provides the basis for further studies of the social networks of marketing and business researchers.
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- Melin, Goran, 2000. "Pragmatism and self-organization: Research collaboration on the individual level," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 31-40, January.
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