Location matters – measuring the efficiency of business social networking
by Peter A. Gloor, Yared H. Kidane, Francesca Grippa, Pascal Marmier, Christoph Von Arb
International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy (IJFIP), Vol. 4, No. 3/4, 2008

Abstract: This paper contributes to measuring the efficiency of business social networking events and organisations. In particular, we analysed the communication at Swiss House for Advanced Research and Technology (now Consulate of Switzerland/Swissnex Boston; formerly SHARE), an organisation whose mission is to foster collaboration networks between the scientific and entrepreneurial communities of Switzerland and the greater Boston area. The study consists of two parts. In the first part, SHARE's social network growth over more than a year was measured through an analysis of its e-mail traffic. In the second part, growth of social networks of individuals participating in a set of networking events during a collaboration programme over one week was measured through a web survey. Comparing individual social network growth through attendance and individual follow-up at events organised in Boston and San Francisco demonstrated creation of a much denser network in Boston – with an almost even split between academic and industrial participants in Boston, while the majority of participants in the Silicon Valley came from industry. Boston's academic participants acted as information brokers, building bridges between industrial participants from Boston and Switzerland.

Online publication date: Tue, 18-Mar-2008

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