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Escaping Network Gravity: Relational Structures for Generating Novelty

While there is a long tradition in social networks research about the spread and adoption of innovation, we know much less about the network antecedents of the generation of novel ideas. In his lecture, Vedres argues that the main mechanisms governing social tie formation and operation are at... Full description

1st Person: Vedres, Balazs
Event: Öffentlicher Vortrag am MPIfG, Köln
2015-06-03, Köln
Type of Publication: Presentation
Published: 2015
Series: Öffentlicher Vortrag am MPIfG
Online: Complete lecture podcast open access
Complete lecture podcast
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Summary: While there is a long tradition in social networks research about the spread and adoption of innovation, we know much less about the network antecedents of the generation of novel ideas. In his lecture, Vedres argues that the main mechanisms governing social tie formation and operation are at odds with recognizing new ideas. Homophily, closure, skewed degree distributions, and limited vision are four main mechanisms that are conservatizing – the four main forces of network gravity. In his lecture Vedres will highlight cases where some of these gravity forces were overcome by organizational design and emergent institutions. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative sources on startup company formation, video game projects, jazz sessions, and business groups, he will focus especially on the role of structural folds and the significance of generative tension in innovation.

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