A social network analysis of the National Materials Competency at Naval Air Systems Command
Moore, Dale L.
Thomas, Gail Fann
Nissen, Mark E.
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This thesis presents a social network analysis for the Naval Air Systems Command National Materials Competency. This geographically dispersed organization is responsible for conducting full-spectrum materials science and engineering across the full lifecycle of NAVAIR weapons systems. A Social Network Analysis (SNA) software tool was used to identify and diagnose the flow of knowledge and expertise across the enterprise. The SNA analysis is particularly important for the National Materials Competency because of a pressing need to provide advanced materials technologies and critical safety-related engineering solutions to the warfighter. For this research, the leaders of the National Materials Competency provided input regarding work interactions, communications and knowledge flows. The SNA software generated graphic visualizations that were used to analyze existing flow patterns. Analysis of the visualizations led to the identification of network topologies, structural holes, one- and two-way communication flows, and levels of cohesion within groups and sites. Based on the findings, recommendations for improved organizational performance include enhancements to network connectivity and cohesion, social capital, organizational processes and policies, information technology and knowledge management.
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