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Knowledge networks of ‘buzz’ in London's advertising industry: a social network analysis approach

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There has been a plethora of literature in the last few years attempting to conceptualise how the (international) firm operates in the notion of what has been termed ‘buzz’. In this paper, we aim to highlight how the use of social network analysis (SNA) can provide a nuanced view of ‘buzz’, through a focus on London's advertising industry. In this case study, we use the data on interlocking board members of the advertising companies in London, and visualise their network maps through sociograms. This method of analysis, under-utilised in the economic geography literature, highlights the intensity of connections between companies and particular individuals. It shows the paths of knowledge flow within the industry, and can highlight the key ‘gatekeepers’ within what is already known to be a highly networked and socialised industry. This is a specific conceptualisation of interaction and provides a quantitative conception of what has hitherto been largely evaluated through qualitative means.

Keywords: London; advertising industry; buzz; economic geography; social network analysis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, Loughborough University, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, Email: 2: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries, Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland EH10 5DT

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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