To scientifically utilize dynamic network theory (DNT), behavioral reasoning theory (BRT) and network goal analysis (NGA) to predict, understand, and intervene in social, organizational, and international behavioral and performance systems.
The lab combines social network analysis, psychologcal science, and motivation science to explain how social networks wield their power on target goals/behaviors, performance, climates, and system well-being. Largely grounded in dynamic network theory, network goal analysis aims to portray these system dynamics at individual, group, organizational, or international levels, including those with conflict. NGA can also be used with other theoretical approaches, not just DNT, whenever social networks and goals (or target behaviors) are the focus. Behavioral reasoning theory, in contrast, breaks down the reasons for and reasons against people use to justify and explain their individual behavioral intentions (embedded within networks) to give insight into individual-level behavioral change interventions. Utilizing elements of both DNT and BRT together to understand complex system behavior represents network intention modeling.
Our approach inserts goal nodes into social networks to provide new insights about system functioning (Westaby and colleagues). Goal nodes can represent many important things, such as goals, missions, objectives, intentions, wishes, needs, dreams, or target behaviors. Thus, goal nodes are relevant across the human experience.
Network goal analyis (NGA) examines how social networks pivot around important goals with theoretically determined motivational linkages. In contrast, traditional social network analysis (SNA) focuses on social structural linkages without explict links to goal nodes. However, the approaches are complementary, depending on the scientific or practice question.
The Lab's computer visualizations, apps, and reports allow each sub-network to be examined separately to better understand complex systems. It breaks down the complexity into meaningful chunks to maximize meaning and understanding. We also combine the concepts to provide overall system-level summaries of the networks, such as their positive focus ratio and network affirmation ratio.
Researchers engaged in rigorous projects examining important goals, behaviors, or general life or work networks can contact us to inquire about using our network goal surveys and computer visualizations in collaboration.
Date: Spring term, 2020
Location: Columbia University, New York, NY
Event: Dynamic Network Lab Special Sessions – Ph.D. Students, Invited Professors and Network and Behavioral Scientists.
Date: Friday, April 24, 2020 / Postponed because of COVID-19 pandemic
Time: 8:00 AM - 9:20 AM
Location: JW Marriott Austin Texas (Lone Star Salon H)
Event: Prof. Westaby (Lab Director) will chair an accepted session at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference on “New advances in social network science and practice in organizations”. Panel members include leading experts on social networks in organizations: Prof. Prasad Balkundi, Prof. Noshir Contractor, Prof. Travis Grosser, Prof. David Krackhardt, and Prof. James Westaby.
Date: Saturday, April 25th / Postponed because of COVID-19 pandemic
Time: 10:30 AM -11:20 AM
Location: JW Marriott Austin Texas (Griffin Hall)
Event: Prof. Westaby (Lab Director) and Adam Parr (DNL Associate) will present their accepted work at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference: “Social networks and team goals: New insights through network goal analysis”.
Date: August, 2020 (details pending because of COVID-19)
Event: Prof. Westaby (Lab Director) will present an accepted paper at the Academy of Management Conference entitled: Modeling Massive Social Network Problem Solving via Network Goal Analysis vs Social Network Analysis. Eccho Yu is a collaborator on this project.
Click here for general theory paper: Dynamic network theory (Westaby, Pfaff, & Redding, 2014)
Click here for recent network goal analysis (NGA) publication: Network goal analysis paper (Westaby & Parr, 2020)
Click here for more publications: Research