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Roberts, J. M., Jr., Roberts, A., & Brewer, D. D. (2014). Network contacts and activity domains: Information-sharing among police agencies. Human Organization, 73, 13-24.

abstract     full article

We investigate whether the structure of network relations is linked to the nature of network participants’ activities. In the organizational setting, organizational activities in different domains likely have different informational needs, and, therefore,network relations may reflect the particular activities they support. Similarity in the network relations associated with various domains may reflect similarity in the inherent “meanings” or content of the domains. We investigated this using American police agency planners’ reported network contacts in 11 policing domains. The correspondence analysis plot of the policing domains, and measures of fit with an a priori classification of domains by meaning, indicated that patterns of overlap in network contacts substantially reflected inherent similarities among domains. Meanings associated with the relations involved in multiplex ties appear to be an important element of network structure.

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