Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Master of the universe

Doing nothing has given me time to re-read Chapter 2 of Social Networks and Organizations, which I will discuss in a blog post soon. The chapter draws heavily on one particular case study, Strategy and transaction in an African factory, by Bruce Kapferer. This is no ordinary case study, but in fact a 366-page book published in 1972.

Doing nothing has given me so much time that I tracked this book down. The effort was definitely worth it--it was my first time checking out a book with my BU faculty ID. I get to keep the book for five months. I used to think three weeks with the option to renew was powerful. Now I am master of the library universe. I may not read Kapferer for four months or so, just to enjoy thinking about the poor students who are waiting to get their hands on his book.

Those of you with less than omnipotent library powers can take some solace in the knowledge that there is not one picture or map in Kapferer's entire 366 pages of exemplary network analysis. Instead, he presents the African factory network in matrix form, like so:
And, there are only two such networks presented in the whole book: one "before" and one "after." Click on the image above to see more detail and re-live 1970s typesetting.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License and is copyrighted (c) 2007 by Connective Associates except where otherwise noted.

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