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Call for Papers - EGOS 2021 Sub-theme 07

Meaning and Social Networks within and between Organizations

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Event Details

EGOS Sub-theme 07: Meaning and Social Networks within and between Organizations



Julia Brennecke - University of Liverpool, United Kingdom

Francesca Pallotti - University of Greenwich, United Kingdom

Leon A.G. Oerlemans - Tilburg University, The Netherlands


Call for Papers:

The predominance of structuralist over connectionist approaches to social network research has limited the study of culture and meanings as emerging from – but also affecting – social interaction processes among individuals or group constituencies, such as organizations. Much empirical research has tended to focus either on social structure or on the material content of social interactions within and between organizations (2017: Ferguson, Groenewegen, Moser, Borgatti, and Mohr).

Recently, however, there has been a surge of interest in understanding the dual relation between meaning and social networks (2010: Pachucki and Breiger) to achieve a more complete explanation of organizational processes and behaviors. This substantial interest has also been sustained by the increased availability of large dataset and digital sources, as well as recent and rapid developments in data analysis and modelling techniques which has made the investigation of the interdependence between social and meaning networks in organizational research more feasible (2017: Basov and Brennecke; 2017: Moser, Groenewegen, and Ferguson; 2013: Mohr and Bogdanov; 2015: Wagner-Pacifici, Mohr and Breiger).

By relying on a definition recently proposed by Moser et al. (2017), meaning is the tacit flow that may include intents, feelings, signs and value that is exchanged, shared in and perceived through ties by two or more individuals within a network. Meaning may emerge directly from the actual content of a tie – for example, the communication flow between two individuals. Or it may emerge from the identity of partners in a relationship – where the meaning assigned to a partner may depend on the availability of alternative partners, or the dependence of a partner on another. Issues of meaning and interpretation are tightly coupled in the analysis of social networks (2001: Podolny).

 The study of how meaning and social networks interact and affect each other requires an integrated research design approach that makes use of tools and technologies for the collection of data on organizational interactions and processes, as well as the use of analytical methods for the formal analysis of meaning and meaning structures emerging from such interactions (2011: Fuhse and Mützel; 2005: Mika; 2005: Breiger and Puetz; 1998: Mohr).

 We welcome short paper submissions that advance our understanding of the interplay between meaning and social networks within and between organizations by bringing together theoretical and/or empirical contributions that:   

  • Show how social and meaning networks are intertwined, and how this matters for organizations.
  • Focus on the meaning of social relationships for a more comprehensive explanation of organizational processes and behavior.
  • Show the use of analytical approaches for the collection, mapping and analysis of meaning and meaning structures embedded in networks within and between organizations.
  • Emphasize interpretive processes underlying the dynamics of social networks.
  • Analyze the meaning of network mechanisms (such as reciprocity, transitivity etc.) for the actors involved.
  • Reveal how meaning is socially contracted through networks.
  • Examine how relational signals are interpreted and translated into actions and behavior.


Please consider submitting to our EGOS 2021 subtheme on “Meaning and Social Networks within and between Organizations”.

See details here:

EGOS will take place virtually from July 8-10, 2021, and the deadline for submission of short papers is January 12, 2021.

We look forward to your submissions. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!