Below is one of the introductory pages on the site, "Kinds of Leadership Networks":
Leadership networks provide resources and support for leaders, and increase the scope and scale of impact leaders can have individually and collectively. We find it helpful to distinguish four types of leadership networks:
Our leadership network classification framework is also influenced by the work of Borgatti and Foster (2003), Plastrik and Taylor (2006), among others. We compare these three frameworks with the tables below:
|Type of Network||Description of Network|
|Peer Leadership Network|| |
Leaders who are connected through shared interests and commitments, shared work, or shared experiences. Leaders in the network share information, provide advice and support, learn from one another, and occasionally collaborate together.
|Organizational Leadership Network|| |
Leaders who connect to increase performance. Often these are informal connections joining people who are employees of the same organization, such as when an employee seeks advice from a colleague other than her supervisor.
|Field-Policy Leadership Network|| |
Leaders who have a shared commitment to influencing the world around them (e.g., the framing of a particular issue, underlying assumptions, and standards for how things get done). These networks make it easier for leaders to find common ground, mobilize support, and influence policy and the allocation of resources.
|Collective Leadership Network|| |
People who self-organize around a common cause. Network members exercise leadership locally and sometimes connect on a large scale. These networks may be driven by a desire to achieve a specific goal, or simply by the desire of each member to belong to something larger than oneself.
Borgatti and Foster approach networks with a more conceptual emphasis than ours. They present a very broad network paradigm within a two-by-two matrix. We highlight below how the four quadrants of their matrix correspond most closely to our framework of four types of leadership networks:
|Borgatti and Foster (2003)|
|Goal used to explain network|
|Actor performance evaluation||Properties of resource diffusion|
|Mechanism used to explain network||Structural position of actors in network||Structural Capital |
|Environmental Shaping |
|Flow of resources through ties||Social access to resources |
Plastrik and Taylor's Net Gains handbook speaks directly to practitioners (network builders) seeking social change. Their framework also maps neatly onto ours:
|Plastrik and Taylor (2006)|
|Definition||Connects people to allow easy flow of and access to information and transactions||Aligns people to develop and spread an identity and collective value proposition||Fosters joint action for specialized outcomes by aligned people|
|Desired Network Effects||Rapid growth and diffusion, small-world reach, resilience||Adaptive capacity, small-world reach, rapid growth and diffusion||Rapid growth and diffusion, small-world reach, resilience, adaptive capacity|
|Key Task of Network Builder||Weaving-help people meet each other, increase ease of sharing and searching for information||Facilitating-helping people to explore potential shared identity and value propositions||Coordinating- helping people plan and implement collaborative actions|
The fundamental goal of our framework is to help practitioners of leadership development - to explain when and how to use social network analysis as an evaluation and capacity-building tool.
All people who are dedicated to developing and supporting the emergence of leadership must understand how to create, develop, and transform leadership networks. We hope our work will inspire more evaluation research on leadership networks and on how to harness and use the power of social network analysis for the collective good.