I recently presented my new work on leadership and social networks at the UKSNA conference in Bristol.
Social networks reflect social preference and therefore are assumed to mirror power relations. In a series of experiments I have found that, as can be expected, those that are identified as leaders are politically successful. But certain personality types associated with leadership (extroverts) are negatively associated with success at political action. This implies that agency propensity to leadership (personality) and power (political resources) each have a differential impact on political transactions.
While leadership is valued by peers, ultimately, power (or even just decisional authority) is a better determinant of political success. And while all this may seem obvious the mechanism through which agency (political capital & political entrepreneurship) affects structure (institutions & crystallised networks) remain obscure.
Experiments hypothesising on the impact of network horizons, cognitive social structure and reputational leadership will keep me busy next year.
ps. and a ‘related’ article in the FT.