OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY Special Topics in Marketing: Social Network Analysis MKTG 6153-WB Spring Semester 2010 Dr. Chad W. Autry SYLLABUS Office: Meinders School of Business, 327 (but please use virtual office on the D2L site). Phone: Office: 208-5534 E-mail: CAUTRY@OKCU.EDU Office Hours: Mon/Wed 10:00AM – 2:00PM and by appointment. Course Website: ocuonline.okcu.edu Class Time: Meets Virtually on Desire to Learn Course Website Prerequisites: None Required Book: Networks in the Knowledge Economy (Cross, Parker, and Sasson eds., 2003: Oxford). Needed Materials: Additional readings – will be posted in PDF format on the course website. Course Description and Overview: Human beings are linked to one another through interpersonal relationships of various types, such as family relationships, work relationships, peer relationships, or buyer-seller relationships. Most people operate within and/or manage many relationships of different types simultaneously. When persons’ portfolios of relationships are considered all at once, they take the form of a complex system known in scientific terminology as a social network. To gain a full understanding of the potential opportunities and threats posed by the structure and relational content of a social network, humans conduct social network analysis (SNA). SNA is all about the detection and exploitation of recognizable occurrences in a social network’s structure, or in the nature ties that bind network members to one another. More specifically, patterns or regularities exist within all social networks that can be studied by members or outsiders, who can then formulate strategies about how to leverage the network for personal gain. This is a course about how to do just that. Social networks form, develop, change, and are used by network members to gain financial or information-based advantages. Through the eight weeks we are together in this virtual course, we will study social networks, their mathematical properties, and the tools (both high tech and abstract) that can be used to measure them and/or manipulate the activity of their members. The broad goals of this course, then, are twofold: (1) to allow participants to better understand the complex and amorphous world of relationships that surrounds them every day, and (2) to gain some sense of how such an understanding, when applied intelligently, can lead to benefits for one or all parties involved. It is important to note that during our social network study we will be taking an applied economic perspective. That is, we will be primarily focused on how social networks can be leveraged for financial or economic benefits, versus purely social ones. This will allow us as current and future businesspeople to learn which relationships can and should be developed or invested in, and which others should be left alone or disbanded due to lack of “payoff”. The hope is that you will all learn to view social networks not just as a social phenomenon in isolation, but rather strategically, as a device through which you or your company can achieve stated goals for success that depend on relationship management in the face of scarce social or financial resources. Course Learning Objectives: To achieve the broad goals stated in the course description, it is important to focus on a selected set of intermediate learning objectives that will allow the social and economic benefits of SNA to be realized. The course learning objectives are as follows: To gain a fundamental understanding of what a social network is, and how it can be described using basic SNA terminology. To understand why social networks are important for individual and company success. To use rudimentary and advanced SNA techniques to assess the inherent problems and advantages of various social network patterns that are discovered to exist. To be able to diagnose key social network “situations” and how to make managerial or personal decisions in order to address them. To gain an understanding of basic SNA technological tools, as well as the role of social media devices, in the implementation of social network solutions. Student Responsibilities and Assignments: The course is broken down into eight weekly modules, each having its own assignments and readings. Many of the primary readings will come from the edited book (Cross, Parker, and Sasson). Others will be posted to the course D2L site under the “content” tab; these will be identified by the author’s last name and publication date (i.e., Autry 2007). You will have exactly two weeks to complete the readings and assignments from each module – after the fourteenth day from assignment, the D2L software will “lock you out” from the related materials (see the course schedule below for further clarification). This system will allow us to keep an aggressive pace as we seek to complete the course material. Students should proceed through each learning module as follows: 1. Readings 2. Weekly Course Discussion 3. Module Quiz 4. Module Writing Assignment To be more specific, each time a new module becomes available in the online D2L site (or even beforehand), you should begin by thoroughly reading over the assigned material. Many weeks, the readings will be an eclectic combination of intensely scientific conceptual papers from academic sources, and very practical “storytelling” from popular press books, magazines, or news clippings. Only when taken in combination can the reader begin to see the full picture of the quickly developing social network field of study. NOTE: THE COURSE IS VERY CAREFULLY DESIGNED SUCH THAT THE READINGS FOLLOW A PRECISE SEQUENCE. YOU WILL BE MUCH BETTER OFF IF YOU READ THE ASSIGNED READINGS IN THE EXACT ORDER PRESENTED IN THE COURSE CALENDAR. Once the readings are completed, then students should be ready to participate in the weekly course discussion. The discussion takes place on the specified discussion forum in the course website. Each week, students have the responsibility for contributing a minimum of six discussion points under the CURRENT WEEK’S topic heading link. This process is detailed as follows: 1. I will begin the discussion (see the discussions page on D2L, and navigate to the week you want to participate in). There will be only two active discussions going at any one time (“this week’s” and “last week’s”). You will be responsible for making SIX quality contributions to each class discussion. 2. To participate, you simply click on the discussion you want to enter, and the thread will open. From there, in order to get credit foe the discussion, you must make QUALITY contributions to the dialogue in the form of (a) posting a new question or comment (maximum of 2 per week); (b) intelligently replying to someone else’s question; and/or (c) intelligently re-replying to someone’s reply to one of your previous posts. Note the QUALITY mandate – your postings should be well thought out, persuasive, and/or thought provoking in order to gain points (and I am the sole judge of quality). 3. After a discussion “fizzles out” or expires, I might re-start it by adding a follow-up question or two, so check back after a couple of days. I will undoubtedly be on there posting at least 3 days a week, and maybe more. I view my job as being an instigator of intelligent thought, so be sure to challenge me and accept my challenges (and we should all remember to be nice). 4. After a discussion time window ends, I will close that discussion out and report grades to the grade sheet for that discussion. 5. IMPORTANT – if you have a basic question about one of the readings (“what do the terms node and link mean?”) or about one of the assignments (“when is the final exam?”), post them to the discussion board for that week. You will not get discussion participation credit for such postings, but they will be answered quickly there and in an open forum where others can see them and might have the same question. By the way – I WILL give extra credit to people who are willing jump in and answer basic SNA queries before I do, if the questions are challenging and responses are thoughtful enough. At the conclusion of the readings and participation in weekly discussion, you should have a relatively comprehensive understanding of the week’s material. At that point, you will be ready to take the weekly module quiz – it is designed to reinforce your learning of the critical concepts for that module, “verifying” that you have mastered the module. The quiz can be accessed by locating the quizzes link of the D2L course website. Each module quiz consists of 10 multiple choice questions, is limited to 20 minutes of time once started, and you will only have one chance to take it (and so it is very important to have prepared well by doing the readings and discussion first, and to start it only when you know you have 20 minutes of uninterrupted time.) Quizzes are individual assignments, and are not to be done in conjunction with other students (and I can tell if you are cooperating illegally due to IP Address tracking and time of completion statistics – so please don’t give me any reason to doubt you). Finally, after your module quiz is completed, you are ready to do your module writing assignment. The writing assignments take the form of an open-ended scenario question, and some involve the analysis of data using the social network software UCINET (see course syllabus, “Needed Materials” heading for details) for completion. In general, the writing assignment will be two paragraphs or less, and will require you to deeply think through an assigned problem, after which you will use SNA tools to solve it. You will find the week’s writing assignment at the end of the quiz you will have just taken. Writing assignments should be submitted to the instructor by clicking on the dropbox link in the course website and submitting to the “student writings” folder. Please note that some writings will be stored publicly so that the class can see them – so only say what you would want the public to read. A reminder: ALL STUDENT DISCUSSIONS/QUIZZES/WRITING SUBMISSIONS WILL BE “LOCKED OUT” BY THE SYSTEM EXACTLY 14 DAYS AFTER THEY ARE ASSIGNED. It is therefore critical that you “keep up” with the course in a timely fashion. Requests for reloading of assignments and quizzes very rarely are honored, if ever, and late submissions will not be accepted except under very extenuating circumstances (as judged by the instructor). Final Examination: The final examination will be drawn from all of the materials presented in class, including the writing assignments and class discussions. It will be open book and notes, but there should be no collaboration among students whatsoever. Please do not give me any reason to suspect you have violated this rule. Grading Policy: Based on the course objectives and assignments noted above, grades for the course will be determined as follows: Grading Item (notes) Points Value Course Discussion (60 total comments of adequate thoughtfulness/value) 60 Module Quizzes @ 10pt each (total of best six scores – others dropped) 60 Writing Assignments @ 10pt each (total of best six scores – others dropped) 60 Final Examination (9th week with 5 day completion window ending 3/12/10) 120 Total Points Possible 300 Once the total points are tallied for each student, the following scale will be applied in order to find the final course grade: Grading scale used: 93-100.00 = A 80-82.99 = B- 67-69.99 = D+ 90-92.99 = A- 77-79.99 = C+ 63-66.99 = D 87-89.99 = B+ 73-76.99 = C 60-62.99 = D- 83-86.99 = B 70-72.99 = C- Below 60 = F INCOMPLETE POLICY: A grade of Incomplete will be given only under extenuating circumstances. Any assigned work, exams, quizzes, etc. not completed by the end of the course period will normally receive a zero unless the student communicates with the professor the nature of the extenuating circumstances. The incomplete policy for the class will adhere to the incomplete policy found in the current graduate catalog. ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: Academic dishonesty is absolutely forbidden at Oklahoma City University. OCU policy will be strictly enforced on this issue. Academic dishonesty includes cheating on any assignment given, quizzes, exams, not working independently when instructed to do so, and plagiarism. Plagiarizing means to copy someone else’s work and claim it as your own. This includes downloading from the Internet without quoting, copying from a book or article without attribution, or taking the work of someone else and submitting it as your own. It is permissible to quote from another source, but you must show it as a quote and give attribution in a footnote or bibliography. Make sure all written assignments are properly referenced and/or expressed in your own words. All class work is to be completed independently by the student unless otherwise instructed by the professor to work in groups or seek outside assistance. Students found cheating on an assignment will receive an "F" on the assignment. Students found cheating on an exam will receive an F in the class. Students will have a note placed in their student file and may be recommended for expulsion from the university. University policy found in the current graduate catalog will be followed regarding cheating and plagiarism. SPECIAL ACCOMMODATION: If you need an accommodation due to a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, pleas contact the Student Health and Disabilities Service Office immediately at 208-5991 or 208-5090. Advance notice is required for many accommodations. Course Schedule (tentative and subject to change at any time): Week Module Assignment Readings* Window 1 (Jan 11) What is a social network, and what is the Jan 11- 1. CPS Chapter 7 (Gladwell) value of connectedness? Jan 25 2. www.wikipedia.org/wiki/social_n etworks 3. Cross et al. (2005) 2 (Jan 18) How strong should I build my “friends Jan 18- 4. CPS Ch 4 (Granovetter)** and acquaintances network”? (Should Feb 1 5. CPS Ch 3 (Krackhardt)** everyone be my close friend????) 3 (Jan 25) Where do the most important people in Jan 25 – 6. CPS Ch 10 (Cross/Pruzak) a network reside [and why are they so Feb 8 7. CPS Ch 9 (Krackhardt/Hanson) 8. Krebs (2002) important]? 4 (Feb 1) What are structural holes and how can I Feb 1- 9. CPS Ch 1 (Burt)*** take advantage of them? Feb 15 10. Hanna and Walsh (2002) 5 (Feb 8) What is the overall value of my social Feb 8- 11. CPS Ch 2 (Coleman) connections, and how can I increase it? Feb 22 12. Anand et al. (2002) 6 (Feb 15) How can I use SNA to spread an idea or Feb 15 – 13. CPS Ch 6 (Gladwell) make it “catch on”? Mar 1 14. CPS Ch 5 (Rogers) 7 (Feb 22) How can I use SNA to make my office Feb 22 – 15. Cross Erlich Helefrich (2008) perform more efficiently? Mar 8 16. Johnson-Cramer et al. (2007) 8 (Mar 1) How can I use social network analysis to No 17. Cross and Thomas (2008) further my career or make more $$? assignment 9 (Mar 8) Final Examination Mar 8-12 *CPS refers to the Cross, Parker, & Sasson edited book. ** Beware of these two – they are dense and hard to understand at first, but take them slowly and I am positive you can handle them without straining your brain (too much). If in doubt, ask questions on the weekly discussion and I will answer them there. *** This one really hurts. I know. But, you can do it.
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