I am outside both the Cross and Carley camps, but I enjoy stereotyping as much as anyone, so today I provide convenient superficial labels with which my readers can simplify the contributions of these two notable network leaders.
Guide to stereotyping Rob Cross and Kathleen Carley:
- Rob Cross provides stories for business
- Kathleen Carley provides computer models for the military
(1) The recent research of the Network Roundtable features Cross's "Braintrust Keynote Presentation." Here is his third slide:
Note the simple and compelling story in the top row of the table: Network density within and across departments of less than 20% indicates little collaboration. If you read the actual presentation, you'll see that the "target density" is only 9.4% because the current density is less than half that, so the target is a healthy step up towards 20%. I will skip the other rows of the table for now.
(2) Kathleen Carley's camp responds to the above story with the following article:
As far as stories go, this article sucks. But look, it is classified under "statistical simulation," because the researchers use computer programs not only to analyze networks, but also to create the very networks that they study (no pesky data collection necessary).
For those whose eyes are glazing over, let me summarize the computer model punchline with a picture. The following three networks all have exactly the same density, 20%; and so according to Cross each of the three networks below has exactly the minimum recommended allowance of connectivity to indicate collaboration:
As you can see, density of 20% means different things depending on how many nodes are in the network.
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