Research Design and Methodology

This mixed-method research project will utilize interviews, archival research, participant observation, and survey methodology to answer the research questions. Interviews with network leaders, staff, and faculty members; observations of annual meetings; and archival research will inform our understanding of the formation, design, and sustaining of these four networks. Survey methodology will be utilized to understand perceived benefits of network involvement and how network structures shape these outcomes.

Some Aspects of Network Designs and Structures

  • Ties: Relationships among people
  • Density: Number of ties across a network structure
  • Strength of Ties: Extent to which members interact with others closely
  • Homophily: Network members resemble one another
  • Heterophily: Network members are different from one another
  • Central Actors: Individuals connected to many others in the network
  • Opinion Leaders: Individuals who influence others’ choices and attitudes