Determining the University’s Position in a Multi-stakeholder Collaborative Network

  • Tracie Evans Reding University of Nebraska Omaah
Keywords: collaboration management, cross-sector collaborations, social network analysis, social capital


Complex problems are being approached through collaborations that cross sectors including businesses, nonprofits, public institutions, and academia. Social Network Analysis (SNA) methods have been adopted to help manage these large collaborations, and it is useful not only for exploring the network dynamics of the collaboration as a whole, but also for exploring where an individual organization lies within the network. Universities can benefit from understanding their position and ties within a network and utilize that information to strengthen their position within these collaborations while fostering collaborations within the network. This study applied SNA to determine the influential position of an urban university within a multi-stakeholder collaborative network (MSCN). The university in this study holds more formal intra-sector relationships and more informal inter-sector relationships with the organization types in the MSCN. The findings also show that the university does hold a prominent position within the informal network of the MSCN; however, it does not hold a position of prominence within the formal network of the MSCN. Fostering these formal and informal relationships would allow the university to strategically promote beneficial collaborations for the university and the network as a whole.


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