Research Seminar David Dekker


12:15 - 13:15

Forumzaal 3 (1D08)

A Network Text Analyses approach to Form Formation

David Dekker

Amsterdam Business Research Institute

Business and Organisation

Conference / Symposium / Seminar

In this paper, the use of Network Text Analyses (NTA) to empirically trace the emergence of organizational forms is discussed. This process is key in theories of the population ecology of organizations. In this pursuit, we conceptualize an organization as a set of words associated to it. Considering a population of organizations allows one to empirically derive statistical semantic similarity relations between organizations. These similarity relations reveal organization clusters in similarity networks. Subsequently, over time these reveal the traces of clusters’ dynamics. This emergence of form occurs at an audience level does not require any assumptions on the individual level. Yet, the forms can be lead back to the individual or sub-audience level by looking at the sources of the words. An example applies the presented approach to investment management decisions. A first step in evaluating an investment object is to establish a set of comparable organizations. Younger organizations (e.g., start-ups and accelerators) may greatly change orientation and adapt strategic plans to the needs of customers, hence changing the set of comparable organizations. Our NTA-approach allows for the tracing of the dynamic composition of similarity clusters to which investment objects belong.
Keywords: Investment Decisions, Network Text Analyses, Similarity Clusters

About the Author
As entrepreneur in the fashion industry my aim is to help our customers, mostly independent retailers, to excel with our apparel collections. Academically my efforts are mostly in network research. The most attractive element of studying networks -besides the dazzling graphics- is that the field is multi-disciplinary. My PhD-thesis (2001) shows effects of within organizational networks on performance and role stress in sales. My currently most referenced article is about a statistical inference procedure in network analyses. And, in the latest project I am working on, we explore the use of network text analyses for private equity investment organizations. Combining fields such as, business, economics, social psychology, statistics provide novel and often unexpected insights.
Before I worked at C&A, ING Bank, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Radboud University Nijmegen, and now I am affiliated with the University of Greenwich in London, and Head of Business Development at For Fellows BV.