Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Networking and Network Theory
Iris M. Saltiel
Networking is a process by which individuals and/or organizations connect with one another for ideas or resources toward the achievement of a specific goal. Networking most commonly begins when a person with a need connects with another who has a resource. A network is defined as an interpersonal relationship that links together people, places, objects, or events. Since networks do not have a boundary, they can add or subtract members with ease and fluidity. The use of technology as a medium for communication, such as the Internet, has greatly expanded opportunities for network analysts. Networks consist of informal sources (comprised of one's personal network) as well as formal sources (organizations and sources where one would expect to receive information). Both formal and informal sources of support have a structure and hierarchy to them. While the structure and hierarchy of one's informal network can be viewed as a spider web that ...