Our research examines how social networks are involved in all types of goal pursuits and behaviors, especially those that are meaningful and impactful to real people or in the real world. These networks can be general such as in one's life or work setting, or specific, such as the networks involved in our goals, missions, and objectives.
Given the breadth and applicability of dynamic network theory, our applications include topics at the individual, team, group, organizational, and international levels. The case study tool is particularly important for broader system analyses, often conducted by experts in a given domain. Click to see some of our network goal surveys.
And because various goal pursuits and behaviors happen in the context of resistance or negativity, the Dynamic Network Lab is acutely interested in understanding the conflict dynamics of complex systems. Our tools and visualizations unpack these issues in a novel way for the conflict resolution field.
Click to see some of our Our Current Research and Sample Publications for more information.
The following sample references are related to our work in the Dynamic Network Lab.
Westaby, J. D., Pfaff, D. L., & Redding, N. (2014). Psychology and social networks: A dynamic network theory perspective. American Psychologist, 69, 269-284. (After clicking on this, please click on the "Documents" tab to go to the next page to access the free PDF copy)
Westaby, J. D., & Parr, A. K. (2020). The network goal analysis of social and organizational systems: Testing dynamic network theory in complex social networks. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 56(1), 107-129. Click here for copy: Network goal analysis paper (Westaby & Parr, 2020)
Westaby, J. D., & Parr, A. K. (2018). Using network goal analysis to explain complex systems: New advances in visualization and analytics. Paper Accepted for Presentation at the North American Social Network Conference, Washington DC, November 30, 2018.
Lace, A., Westaby, J. D., & Coleman, P. T. (2019). Using network goal analysis to explain complex systems: New advances in visualization and analytics. Paper Accepted for Presentation at International Association for Conflict Management.
Westaby, J. D., Woods, N., & Pfaff, D. L. (2016). Extending dynamic network theory to group and social interaction analysis: Uncovering key behavioral elements, cycles, and emergent states. Organizational Psychology Review, 6, 34-62. (Note: Our newer conceptualizing modifies system reactance (R), given the new focus on constructive reactions to conflict).
(If interested in manual graphing): Westaby, J.D. (2012):The following online resource, published with the main book above, uses old labeling from the book: G' is now P in our charts. S' is now V. R' is now N: Click here to go to the online supplemental resource A from APA. Also, it is important to note that system reactance (R) is now tuned into representing constructive reactions to others if there is conflict.
Topical Applications of DNT
Westaby, J. D., & Shon, D. (2017). Simulating the Social Networks in Human Goal Striving. In R. R. Vallacher, S. J., Read, & A. Nowak (Eds.), Computational models in social psychology (1st ed.). pp. 231-257. New York, NY: Psychology Press (Frontiers of Psychology series). Recommendation: Unless you're interested in technical computional example methods, you can skip the middle section to see broader new theoretical implications (i.e., focus on the intro and latter parts of the paper).
Westaby, J. D., & Echtenkamp, A. (2017). Humor and Organizational Networks: Functions and Dysfunctions. In C. Robert (Ed.), Humor in the workplace (1st ed.). pp. 45-59. Routledge.
Westaby, J. D., & Redding, N. (2014). Social networks, social media, and conflict resolution. In P.T. Coleman, M. Deutsch, & E.C. Marcus (Eds.), The handbook of conflict resolution: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). pp. 998-1022. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
These articles are relevant for those interested in micro behavioral intention models to predict specific behaviors. (These are not as systems-oriented):
Westaby, J. D. Probst, T. M., & Lee, B.C. (2010). Leadership Decision-Making: A Behavioral Reasoning Theory Analysis. Leadership Quarterly, 21, 481-495. This paper aimed to empirically test and validate BRT.
Westaby, J. D. (2005). Behavioral Reasoning Theory: Identifying New Linkages Underlying Intentions and Behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 98, 97-120. This is the scientific paper that introduced the theory.
Wagner, M., & Westaby, J. D. (in press). Changing pay systems in organizations: Using behavioral reasoning theory to understand employee support for pay-for-performance (or Not). Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.
Context Specific Articles
Westaby, J. D., Versenyi, A., & Hausmann, R. C. (2005). Intentions to Work During Terminal Illness: An Exploratory Study of Antecedent Conditions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 1297-1305.
Westaby, J. D., & Lowe, J. K. (2005). Risk taking orientation and injury among youth workers: Examining the social influence of supervisors, coworkers, and parents. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 1297-1305.
Lee, B. C., Westaby, J. D., & Berg, D. (2004). Impact of a National Rural Youth Health and Safety Initiative: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. American Journal of Public Health, 94, 1743 -1749.
Order of authorship may vary depending on total writing and contributions in each study.
Network goal analysis in work settings: Applying dynamic network theory
Westaby and Parr
Human goal striving and feedback linkages in dynamic network theory
Parr and Westaby
Network goal dynamics and personality
Rosemarino, Westaby, and DNL Staff
Demographic diversity and motivational linkages in dynamic network systems
Yu, Westaby, and DNL Staff
Network goal analysis of health behaviors: A multiple system analysis
Westaby and Parr
Organizational learning in online communities
Yu and Westaby
Dynamic network intelligence among individuals and groups
The network goal analysis of massive online communities: A multiple goal node analysis
Westaby and Yu
Turnover in the military: Social networks and intentions
Mah and Westaby
Is being central in social networks a good thing? It depends on the role in dynamic network theory
Westaby and Parr
The network dynamics of unethical behavior: The Bernie Madoff case
Rosemarino, Westaby, and DNL staff
Case study analysis of international conflict: Using network goal analysis to examine the Northern Ireland conflict
Lace, Westaby, Coleman, and DNL staff
Teacher goal striving in complex social networks: Applying network goal analysis in dynamic network theory
Hibbard, Westaby, and DNL Staff
Counseling interventions among refugees: Using network goal analysis to examine outcome change
Verdeli, Sardana, Westaby, and Parr
Ph.D. level researchers in full-time Professorial or Director-level positions familiar with our theorizing and network goal approach can contact us to inquire about our process for potential collaboration in research projects or case studies using our surveys, computer visualizations, and advanced statistics. Basic costs typically apply to cover research time, processing fees, and the use of our computer program tools (e.g., Qualtrics, R-shiny, etc.).
For those seriously interested in potential research collaboration, please contact us through the link shown below and provide the requested information.
This will be used to gauge the initial feasibility of the Lab's involvement. If there is a potential fit and availability, we would further discuss the study's design and focus, the ideal integration of our surveys and analyses, and the likely base cost involved for deliverable outputs. If these communications continue to show a potential fit, a budget and contract would be drafted and agreements confirmed.
Our goal in such collaboration is to advance knowledge, publish impactful articles in rigorous scientific journals, and/or generate insights that help create positive change in people's lives. All collaborations would adhere to APA ethical guidelines.
The number of collaboration partners may be limited by staff availability.