Enhancing Social and Intellectual Collaboration in Innovation Networks: A Study of Entrepreneurial Networks in an Urban Technological University
This article documents a pilot study of the social networks of faculty, staff, and students at the Illinois Tech (IIT), an urban technical university located in Chicago. The focus of our study is the Entrepreneurship Academy (EA) Council, a university-wide, academically focused organization with an overall goal of fostering a community of entrepreneurs that transcends schools, departments, and units. In this pilot study, we used Condor, a dynamic social network (SNA) tool, to map and analyze the visual representations of the email accounts of several EA Council members. In a second phase of the project we plan to introduce the EA Council to how they might use dynamic SNA to build and enhance resilient networks connecting students, faculty, staff, alumni, corporate partners, government, and entrepreneurial advocates to foster the creation a new generation of high impact entrepreneurs. We will present the results of this pilot study to the EA Council members with the aim of stimulating strategic conversations about the role of social networks in collaboration and innovation and about how they can use dynamic SNA to further the development of IIT’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
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