As a tool that has only become prevalent in modern times, e-marketing has its roots in studies that date to being over half a century old. The suggestions of network research have matured e-marketing into a multi-million dollar industry.
An area of commerce that has benefited greatly from this is the internal aspect of a firm when looking into the process of internationalization. In this paper, we will analyze how developments in network research have influenced the e-marketing area of internationalization.
Network research is a discipline that promotes and contributes to many fields of study, from computer science to biology. It studies the way objects, groups and people link together in order to form bonds and associations. As a study that has consistently developed over the last decades, network research is also sometimes referred to as network analysis. Therefore, it is a science and academized review
that can be used to analyze a variety of processes and the way in which changes occur over time. Such a variety of structured environments can include political, social, or economic (Wasserman et al., 1994). As scholars of different disciplines tried to solve experimental and theoretical problems, a common denominator ensued. No matter how distinctive the discipline was the network perspective was there to answer a wide range of problems. (Wasserman et al. 1994)
As internationalization can be developed utilizing public administration, sociology, and political science, and management skills, three streams of network research can be considered. These include (a) social network analysis, (b) policy change and the impact of networks on policy outcomes, and (c) public management networks (Berry et al., 2004) Because these areas of study is so wide, this paper will focus on the evolution of social network analysis and its importance.
It is widely accepted that in 1954, anthropologist Mitchell Barnes coined the term social network. (Wasserman et al., 1994) A year before, Jason Moreno introduced a methodological technique ge invented under the name sociogram (Moreno, 1953). It was an idea he had been working on since the 1930s. A sociogram is an illustration in which points are used to represent social units and lines are used to represent the relationship between them. This sociogram is still used today and has evolved into a method used as a probabilistic model of structural results. (Wasserman et al., 1994) Sociograms would soon be introduced to various analytic techniques, and later on mathematics. This gave legs to the development of sociometry.
In the following graphic of a sociogram
, one can grasp onto the idea of how internationalization can borrow from e-marketing. Replace the circle with a person and the plus/minus with the emotion associated with a product. The use of e-marketing can allow for a person to associate positive or negative emotion with a product. The second circle can then witness this emotion and learn from it. This is why it is important to do the proper network research in order to understand how consumers will react to a product and it’s associations.