This chapter provides an overview of social networks, the basic discipline from which ideas and terminology are drawn when characterizing popular phenomena such as “social networking” Internet sites like Facebook. The authors offer the reader a flavor of the theoretical and empirical research conducted by social network scholars since the 1930s. They explore how researchers have used social networks to generate and test economic, sociological, and organizational theories. They also examine broad insights from this research, as well as management implications in areas such as advertising, brands, loyalty, authenticity, and segmentation. The overriding message is that as power shifts from firms to social networks, companies have less control over their own destinies and need to pay more attention to networks.
The Discipline of Social Networks: Examining Interdependencies
History of Thought in Social Networks
Concepts and Theories in Social Networks
Key Substantive Findings: What Do We Know?
Implications for Marketing Management and Business
Conclusion: Losing Control