The Red Pill or the Blue Pill? A Case for Simulated Data in Organizational Network Research
Belik, Bhattacharya and Knudsen (in review) The Red Pill or the Blue Pill? A Case for Simulated Data in Organizational Network Research
Conceptual paper that makes the argument that we should use more simulated networks in organizational research. We also review a number of simulation models, and show how they can be implemented.
A key problem in social network research in strategy and management is access to relevant and high-quality data. We argue that simulated network data can be a good substitute for, and a valuable complement to, real-world network data in strategy and management research. To make our case, we review models and methods for network data simulation and illustrate how such data simulations can be achieved in practice following sound empirical guidelines. We also compare and contrast our simulated networks with four, widely used real organizational networks. The results suggest that simulations can indeed be used to mimic key properties of these organizational networks, and that simulations allow researchers to build new and richer networks either from scratch, or from using existing real network data as the point of departure.
Available upon request