Understanding Community Ecology through Network Theory/Analysis J. Alison Bryant Department of Telecommunications Indiana University, Bloomington 8 November 2004
Four Needs in Organizational Theory to understand organizational evolution from the level of the community(e.g., Aldrich, 1999; Astley, 1985; Baum, 1996; G. R. Carroll & Hannan, 1999; DiMaggio, 1994; Ruef, 2000); to more systematically understand the complex relationships within the community(Baum, 1996); to incorporate network analysis in the study of community ecology(DiMaggio, 1994); and advance our understanding of organization by constructing network theories of organization (Salancik, 1995)
The coevolution of an organizational community is the evolution of the community’s network structure of interactions/relationships
ENVIRONMENT COMMUNITY Thingy 1 Gadget A Thingy 2 Gadget B Thingy 3 Gadget C Widget X ORGANIZATION Widget Y Widget Z POPULATION
Community Ecology Basics Subsumes population ecology and bridges to environment – coevolution of populations of organizations Incorporates punctuated equilibrium model of change(Tushman & Romanelli, 1985) Open Environmental Space Symbiosis and Commensalism symbiotic relationship (+,+); commensalistic relationships: full mutualism (+,+) partial mutualism (+,0) neutrality (0,0) predatory competition (+,-) partial competition (-,0) full competition (-,-) The purpose of the community is to buffer populations from the environment.(Hawley, 1950;1982; Barnett, 1994)
Community Ecology through Network Theory/Analysis • The whole, not just the part • The structure of the network can elucidate the current “fitness” [or “effectiveness”] of the community? • Can look @ how structures of relationships overtime enable collective, as well as individual, interests • Better able to deal with multiple types of relationships
Networks Perspective on Community Ecology • Symbiosis and Commensalism • symbiotic relationship (+,+); • commensalistic relationships: • full mutualism (+,+) • partial mutualism (+,0) • neutrality (0,0) • predatory competition (+,-) • partial competition (-,0) • full competition (-,-) The creation, maintenance, and dissolution of relationships within the community (network) is the key mechanism by which communities emerge, evolve, and collapse – ∆ in network structure explains ∆ in community fitness Articulation of community ecology concepts in network terms: Variation, Selection, & Retention Density Dependence Open Environmental Space Punctuated Equilibrium Symbiotic and Commensalistic Relationships • An “effective” network will buffer populations from the environment.
Phases of Community Coevolution Emergence Maintenance Self-Sufficiency Transformation Dissolution
The Children’s Television Community Who? Educational Content Creators Entertainment Content Creators Content Programmers Toy Companies Advertisers Governmental Bodies Advocacy Groups Philanthropic Organizations When? 1953-2002 Where? United States How? & Why?
ENVIRONMENT Governmental Bodies Content Programmers Educational Content Creators COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION POPULATION
A Very Brief History of Children’s TV 1950s 1960s 2000s 1970s 1980s 1990s 1940s
Methodology • Data Coding: • 560 Network Ties (10 Time Periods, 8x8 Network Matrices) • Key Environmental Events Participants: 20 key players in each population over the past 50 years, e.g., Creators of Sesame Street and Children’s Television Workshop Dir. of Research,Viacom Media/former Dir. of Research, Nick Jr./Nickelodeon President, Mediascope/former VP for Programming, ABC Family & Fox Family Founder, Action for Children’s Television Former Director of Research, Children’s Television Workshop Director, Center for Media Education President, DIC Entertainment Data Collection: In-depth Interviews Network Data Questionnaire Historical Records
Educational Content Creators Entertainment Content Creators Content Programmers Toy Tie-In Companies Advertisers Governmental Bodies Advocacy Groups Philanthropic Organizations Educational Content Creators relationship to Entertainment Content Creators relationship to Content Programmers relationship to Toy Tie-In Companies relationship to Advertisers relationship to Governmental Bodies relationship to Advocacy Groups relationship to Philanthropic Organizations relationship to
Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 1963-1967 Penetration of Cable 1983-1987 Children’s Television Act of 1990 1988-1992 Three-Hour Rule (Addendum to CTA in 1996) 1993-1997 Environmental Events in the History of the Children’s TV Community
Limitations: • Data Collection • One case study • Network Data Questionnaire • Macro-level Events • Data Analysis • Small networks • Need to use dynamic network analysis Limitations/Future Directions • Future Directions: • Further data collection (children’s media community and other communities) • More multilevel, emergent analysis