Exploring the dynamics of social networks

Conventional wisdom would have us believe that it is the size of your network that matters: how many people do you know? We’re told to mix, mingle, and connect.

But social science research suggests otherwise.

The quality and structure of our relationships have far greater impact on our personal and professional lives. Our relationships with friends, family, co-workers, neighbours, and collaborators are by far our greatest asset. Yet, most people leave them to chance.

In this ground-breaking study, “Social Chemistry – Decoding the Patterns of Human Connection” (Hachette), Marissa King, Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Yale, argues that there are strategic ways in which we can alter our relationships for a happier and more fulfilling life. With new understanding, this book can help readers see how they can harness the power of their networks in their personal relationships, at work, and to create a better world.

King has developed and teaches a popular course entitled Managing Strategic Networks. A sociologist and network scientist by training, her research investigates social influence, social networks, and team dynamics. Her most recent line of research analyses the individual and group-level behaviours that are necessary for large-scale organisational change.

Known to use wearable sensors to enhance traditional social science data, King’s research has been featured in outlets such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Atlantic, and on National Public Radio.