Projects

Collaboration networks of problem-solving teams

Teams have become a popular organization form since well-functioning task-focused groups are basic pillars of successful organizations. While there is much interest in contemporary social science in understanding team processes that lead to efficiency, a persistent problem for such type of analyses is the lack of objective and fine-grained sources on real-time group communication, limiting the scope of traditional investigations. We introduce escape rooms as non-interventional social laboratories, unaffected from the typical frailties of conventional experiments and field research. Exploiting this innovative setting, we collect fine-grained data on real-time communications of problem-solving teams. Besides, we explore the wider social embedding of members by questionnaire data that informs us about teams’ composition and social structure. This novel approach and the versatility of the data allows us (1) to integrate the fragmented knowledge on teams by investigating the effects of multiple (compositional, relational and process-related) predictors on team success; (2) to portray a nuanced, complex picture of problem-solving group behavior by measuring how teams’ collaboration network  evolves in time of task performance. This research aims to advance the new science of teams' by taking an integrative perspective and focusing on the network micro-mechanisms that allow us to treat teams as dynamic, adaptive, task-performing systems.

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Social networks and mobility in urban space

Millions commute to work every day in cities and interact with colleagues, customers, providers, friends,  and  strangers.   Commuting  facilitates  the  mixing  of  people  from  distant  and  diverse neighbourhoods,  but  whether  this  has  an  imprint  on  social  inclusion  or  instead,  connections remain segregated is less explored. In this project we use geolocated Twitter messages to track the mobility of thousands of users in the 50 largest metropolitan areas of the United States. We combine information on individual commuting with the online social network of users and socio-economic data on their neighborhoods. We use this unique dataset to understand (1) how mobility shapes social relationships of people from different communities, (2) how online social connections, mobility and physical infrastructure connect neighborhoods inside cities, (3) how the online social network of people from lower income neighborhoods differ from the network of people living in rich areas of cities.

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The evolution of multilayer connections between firms

The web of relationships between companies is essential for markets, as they convey information,  resources and knowledge within a social structure. The embeddedness of firms in these relational structures partly arises from pure business interest and partly from other types of social connections, such as the personal acquaintance of owners or the geographical proximity of companies. Studying the interplay between such relationships can help us to understand the nature of markets and how information flows, reputation and personal connection influence business in general. However, such empirical inquiries are rare at large-scale, because of their significant data-demand.

In this project, we combine administrative datasets on firms to uncover the evolution of inter-firm connections in Hungary between 2016 and 2018. We connect firms through their geographic proximity, co-ownership ties and financial transactions. This multiplex network setting allows us to test how location and co-ownership influence the creation, persistence and dissolution of business transactions directly or indirectly.

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Organizational networks, skills and performance.

The skills and knowledge of the workforce are defining assets of the firm, and are directly related to internal and external collaboration. Co-worker relationships within regions also largely determine whether linkages to other sectors and regions are promoting growth of sectors and regions.

We analyze the relationship between skills of employees, the network structure of their interactions, and firm performance. We combine survey data, social network (linkedIn) data and administrative data in this project. The first article of this project analyzes the relationship between local vs. distant connections and the skills of workers. The next considers the role network position of firms in firm growth. This project is in collaboration with Rikard Eriksson from Umea university. Our current efforts are to extend the Swedish data by surveying organizational networks in Hungary collaborating with a large multinational enterprise.

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Diffusion and collapse of online social networks

Adoption of new technologies is a complex social contagion phenomenon, where Individuals are influenced both by the media and by their social ties in their decision-making. These peer effects of adoption are especially apparent in the case of online platforms, where the utility of being part of it comes from the presence of other users. However, once a platform is widely diffused, these peer effects stabilize its position, until a sufficient share of users leave creating a cascade of churn. 

In this project we analyze the diffusion and churn of the iWiW network, a social media platform that used to be very popular in Hungary, over its full life cycle (2002–2012).

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