An Introduction to Social Network Analysis for Creativity Research

  • Alexander S. McKay
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)


Although social networks and creativity have been studied together in the organizational and sociology literature, it has received less attention within the dominant creativity journals. The current chapter discusses social network analysis for creativity research. The chapter reviews the basic building blocks of social networks (nodes and edges) and the mathematical foundations of social network analysis (graph theory and matrix algebra). Key considerations of defining network boundaries are discussed for collecting social network data. Then, two commonly used measures and terms, centrality and subgroups, in the social network literature are defined. The chapter provides a brief overview of network visualization and available software packages for conducting social network research. The chapter concludes by highlighting the types of research questions that can be answered using social network analysis, presenting selected published studies as examples along with their findings.


Creativity Innovation Social networks Centrality Social network methodology 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander S. McKay
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, School of BusinessVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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