PhD Graduate Guang Ying Mo and Professor Barry Wellman on Networked Work

Guang Ying MoPhD Graduate Guang Ying Mo and Professor Barry Wellman (of NetLab), in collaboration with Dimitrina Dimitrova, Tsahi Hayat, and Beverly Wellman, published an article in the International Journal of Communication. The article examines how social networks impact the work of scholars and their involvement in research teams.

Guang Ying Mo obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2015. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Ontario Telemedicine Network. Her research focuses on social networks and innovation. Barry Wellman is a retired Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Wellman, Barry, Dimitrina Dimitrova, Tsahi Hayat, Guang Ying Mo, and Beverly Wellman. 2017. “Venture Labor, Media Work, and the Communicative Construction of Economic Value: Agendas for the Field and Critical Commentary: Fifteen Implications of Networked Scholar Research for Networked Work.” International Journal of Communication, 11:2062-2066.

Networked work is the venture labor of workers involved in multiple teams. Scholars are a special kind of networked workers, partially involved in temporary teams to produce findings, presentations, papers, and patents. Many networked scholars are linked across universities by common interests, data stores, opportunities for research funding, and publications. Our NAVEL team’s study of 144 Canadian scholars in the GRAND network found that already-networked scholars were more likely to be recruited into new research teams. Although network members were officially equal, senior and entrepreneurial scholars were more equal than others. Despite norms of interdisciplinarity, scholars in the same subfields sought out one another. Although the scholars used multiple digital means to communicate, in-person meetings–and hence physical proximity–ruled.

Read the full article here.

PhD Graduate Guang Ying Mo on Cross-Disciplinary Communication

PhD Graduate Guang Ying Mo published an article in Information, Communication & Society that examines how communication between disciplines within research organizations affects multidisciplinary research outcomes. Mo argues that diverse networks lead to more collaboration across disciplines, which may lead to greater innovation.

Guang Ying Mo obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2015. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Ontario Telemedicine Network. Her research focuses on social networks and innovation.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Mo, Guang Ying. 2016. “Examining Cross-Disciplinary Communication’s Impact on Multidisciplinary Collaborations: Implications for Innovations.” Information, Communication & Society, 19(5):673-690.

Many research organizations are shifting to networked structures to foster the creation of innovation. However, the study of the network form of research organizations is rare and the collaborative process in such networks has yet to be revealed. This study analyses the relationship between networked structure, disciplinary diversity, and multidisciplinary outputs. Using social network, co-authorship, and interview data collected from the GRAND NCE, a Canadian research network, this paper examines how researchers’ memberships in multiple projects, diversity in their communication networks, and researchers’ personal interests in developing cross-boundary ties with other GRAND members influence the production of multidisciplinary outcomes. Using a new framework to study the complex relationships between factors at the organizational, project, and individual levels, this study shows that the diversity in the communication network has a direct impact on the number of multidisciplinary outputs and the diversity in co-authorship networks, which could be the source of future innovation. The analyses also indicate that the network structure can facilitate boundary-spanning communication, and this allows researchers who are interested in multidisciplinary collaborations to carry out their desires. Furthermore, the qualitative data show that collaborators would work together in cross-disciplinary ties to identify common research topics, exchange advice, and help solve problems. Such activities are considered to be the activities that lead to multidisciplinary outcomes.

Read the full article here.

PhD Graduate Guang Ying Mo and Professor Barry Wellman on Multiple Team Membership

Guang Ying MoPhD Graduate Guang Ying Mo and Professor Barry Wellman published an article in Information, Communication & Society that examines how “multiple team membership” within organizations affects individual networks, both online and offline. The authors argue that diversity in teams and membership in multiple teams allows for greater development of online networks.

Guang Ying Mo obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2015. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Ontario Telemedicine Network. Her research focuses on social networks and innovation. Barry Wellman is a retired Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Mo, Guang Ying and Barry Wellman. 2016. “The Effects of Multiple Team Membership on Networking Online and Offline: Using Multilevel Multiple Membership Model.” Information, Communication & Society, 19(9):1250-1266.

When organizations use multiple team membership (MTM) to enhance efficient use of resources, workers in multiple teams develop networks that expand across team boundaries and are linked to teams at a higher level. On such complexity in multilevel networked organizations, we investigate how MTM and team characteristics shape individual-level networks both online and offline. We explain and use the relatively new approach of multilevel multimember modeling (MMMM) to consider how the diversity of teams is related to individual behaviors and networks. Studying a large trans-Canadian network of scholars making and studying digital media, we find that MTM and diversity in teams have a positive impact on the development of diverse ego networks online (email) rather than offline (in person). We also discuss the broader implications of MMMM for understanding the ways in which networked organizations operate.

Read the full article here.

PhD Graduate Guang Ying Mo on Advice Within Research Networks

Guang Ying MoPhD Graduate Guang Ying Mo, in collaboration with Tsahi Hayat, published an article in American Behavioral Scientist that analyzes how social and network structures affect the giving and receiving of advice among researchers. The authors find that network size correlates the most with advice giving and receiving.

Guang Ying Mo obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2015. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Ontario Telemedicine Network. Her research focuses on social networks and innovation.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Hayat, Tsahi and Guang Ying Mo. 2015. “Advice Giving and Receiving Within a Research Network.” American Behavioral Scientist, 59(5):582-598.

One of the central components of research-related networked work is the exchange of advice through which researchers are expected to share useful information, especially critical information that others might not possess. A key enabler for advice exchange is the minimizing of structural constraints in the organizations. In this study, we wish to gain a better understanding of how structural constraints, in the form of social and network structure, interplay with advice exchange. Our study’s focal point is the Graphics, Animation, and New Media (GRAND) network, a national research organization in Canada. By conducting a social network survey (N = 101), we were able to study advice giving and receiving among GRAND members. Our findings indicate that the centrality of researchers in the communication network positively correlates with both advice giving and receiving. However, the effective network size of communication networks more strongly correlates with advice giving and receiving, especially for the researchers who hold higher hierarchical positions in GRAND. Overall, our findings indicate that both the communication network and the hierarchical structure are strongly correlated with advice giving and receiving. Furthermore, by looking at the combined correlation between social and network structures with advice exchange, we can offer a better understanding of researchers’ interactions. Our findings are then discussed within the context of their potential implications for other studies on the topic of research collaboration.

Read the full article here.

PhD Graduate Guang Ying Mo and Professor Barry Wellman on Social Support Through Digital Media

PhD Graduate Guang Ying Mo and Professor Barry Wellman, in collaboration with Professor Anabel Quan-Haase (University of Western Ontario), published an article in Information, Communication & Society. The article explores the role of digital media in developing social support and companionship among older adults. The authors argue that learning to use technology effectively can provide an important source of social support to older adults.

Guang Ying Mo obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2015. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Ontario Telemedicine Network and her research focuses on social networks and innovation. Barry Wellman is a retired Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Quan-Haase, Anabel, Guang Ying Mo, and Barry Wellman. 2017. “Connected Seniors: How Older Adults in East York Exchange Social Support Online and Offline.” Information, Communication & Society, 20(7):967-986.

How do older adults mobilize social support, with and without digital media? To investigate this, we focus on older adults 65+ residing in the Toronto locality of East York, using 42 interviews lasting about 90 minutes done in 2013–2014. We find that digital media help in mobilizing social support as well as maintaining and strengthening existing relationships with geographically near and distant contacts. This is especially important for those individuals (and their network members) who have limited mobility. Once older adults start using digital media, they become routinely incorporated into their lives, used in conjunction with the telephone to maintain existing relationships but not to develop new ones. Contradicting fears that digital media are inadequate for meaningful relational contact, we found that these older adults considered social support exchanged via digital media to be real support that cannot be dismissed as token. Older adults especially used and valued digital media for companionship. They also used them for coordination, maintaining ties, and casual conversations. Email was used more with friends than relatives; some Skype was used with close family ties. Our research suggests that policy efforts need to emphasize the strengthening of existing networks rather than the establishment of interventions that are outside of older adults’ existing ties. Our findings also show that learning how to master technology is in itself a form of social support that provides opportunities to strengthen the networks of older adults.

Read the full article here.

PhD Graduate Guang Ying Mo and Professor Barry Wellman on Sequencing in Social Networks

Guang Ying MoPhD Graduate Guang Ying Mo and Professor Barry Wellman published an article in the Bulletin of Sociological Methodology that discusses the role of the concept of sequencing in social networking research. Sequencing refers to the prioritization of some network actors over others and the authors argue that this concept has important implications for understanding the connection between individual behaviour and broader social structures.

Guang Ying Mo obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2015. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Ontario Telemedicine Network. Her research focuses on social networks and innovation. Barry Wellman is a retired Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Mo, Guang Ying and Barry Wellman. 2012. “Understanding Sequencing in Social Network Communications.” BMS: Bulletin of Sociological Methodology, 113:76-87.

Sequencing is an indispensable decision-making process during information flows. This paper proposes the conceptualization of sequencing to understand how and why infor mation senders prioritize some network members when they communicate with others. We examine the usefulness of this conceptualization with data collected from GRAND, a scholarly network. The concept of sequencing enables researchers to explore the decision-making process that occurs prior to information flows and link individuals’ behavior to the social context.

Read the full article here.

How far can Scholarly Networks Go?

s200_guang_ying-moCongratulations to Guang Ying Mo and her coauthors who were recently awarded one of the Emerald Literati Networks Award for Excellence, 2016!

Mo and her co-authors, Zach Hayat and Barry Wellman, received an Outstanding Author Contribution Award in the Book Series, Studies in Media and Communications. Their award-winning book chapter is: “How Far Can Scholarly Networks Go? Examining the Relationships between Disciplines, Motivations, and Clusters.”

Presented by The Emerald Publishing Group, this award honours the top contributions within the current year’s volume of a book series. According to the award’s literature, the winning chapters demonstrate: “a contribution of something new to the body of knowledge, either in terms of approach or subject matter; excellent structure and presentation and well-written text; rigour in terms of argument or analysis; relevance – to practice and further research, in most cases; up-to-date – demonstrating that the latest/key works in the field have been cited; a work which is clearly within the editorial scope and remit of the book series.” In choosing the outstanding contribution, the editors are, moreover, recognizing it as “of notable outstanding quality.”

Congratulations again to Mo for her excellent work.

In recognition of the award, the publisher has made the full chapter open access for the period of one year. We have pasted the abstract below.

Guang Ying Mo , Zack Hayat , Barry Wellman. How Far can Scholarly Networks Go? Examining the Relationships between Distance, Disciplines, Motivations, and Clusters Communication and Information Technologies Annual. 2015, 107-133.

Abstract

This study aims to understand the extent to which scholarly networks are connected both in person and through information and communication technologies, and in particular, how distance, disciplines, and motivations for participating in these networks interplay with the clusters they form. The focal point for our analysis is the Graphics, Animation and New Media Network of Centres of Excellence (GRAND NCE), a Canadian scholarly network in which scholars collaborate across disciplinary, institutional, and geographical boundaries in one or multiple projects with the aid of information and communication technologies. To understand the complexity in such networks, we first identified scholars’ clusters within the work, want-to-meet, and help networks of GRAND and examined the correlation between these clusters as well as with disciplines and geographic locations. We then identified three types of motivation that drove scholars to join GRAND: practical issues, novelty-exploration, and networking. Our findings indicate that (1) scholars’ interests in the networking opportunities provided by GRAND may not easily translate into actual interactions. Although scholars express interests in boundary-spanning collaborations, these mostly occur within the same discipline and geographic area. (2) Some motivations are reflected in the structural characteristics of the clusters we identify, while others are irrelevant to the establishment of collaborative ties. We argue that institutional intervention may be used to enhance geographically dispersed, multidisciplinary collaboration.