My name is Natalia Lavrushkina and I am a member of staff in the Faculty of Management at Bournemouth University and a postgraduate research student at the University of Southampton and before sending you invitations to take part in a short online survey, as a part of this research, I would like to introduce the ResNET Research Network Project to the BU research community.
ResNET is a Doctoral Research project undertaken in collaboration with the Doctoral College and it is being mentored by Dr John Beavis.
The aim of this research project is to investigate and understand the development and operation of social networks amongst the internal research community within Bournemouth University. Its objectives are:
- to explore the concept of ‘institutional collegiality’ as a measure of the degree of cooperativeness and collaborative interaction within the organisation;
- to map expertise distribution within BU.
Once data has been collected, I will make social network charts like this one below.
The chart shows the organisation with the squares representing individuals in different subject areas.
I will be using specialist Social Network Analysis software for my data analysis which graphically shows communications points through our community. It links people working together and demonstrating density of the communication. It also shows the difference between external and internal communication flow. Additionally the longitudinal data analysis allows reflection on the dynamics of the research network’s development.
I will send individual survey links via BU emails to ask BU researchers and related staff to complete a short online survey through three rounds of data collection approximately 3 months apart. The questions seek to identify levels of communication flows, the presence of communication hubs and brokers, the closeness and strengths of ties and levels of network’s cohesiveness.
As you can see from my diagram it isn’t about looking at individuals per se – I am not concerned with who particular people are or what their job titles are. It is the network composition and the nature of communication flows that are being analysed not the communications of any named individual(s) within the network.
All data will be analysed and reported anonymously using the specialist SNA software.
I anticipate that the research findings will benefit Bournemouth University by informing strategies and innovative practice related to the improvement of collaboration in knowledge creation and transfer.
It will benefit Faculty research activity and research support through a deeper understanding of institutional research network dynamics and through a greater understanding of communication flows and research process and expertise mapping.
This study has been approved by the University of Southampton Ethics Committee (ERGO number: 31376) with Bournemouth University support and agreement. BU Academic and Research Staff are the population of this study.
I am hoping that my peers and colleagues at BU will support me on my doctoral journey by investing some of your very precious time and effort in participation in ResNET project’s survey.
I know that completing surveys can be time and effort-consuming, so I would like to say thank you by offering to provide you and the whole BU Research Community a summary of the research findings through this research blog.
I am happy to answer any query regarding this project and can be contacted via my university email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.