Richez-Battesti N., Petrella F. (2013), In: Elias G. Carayannis (ed.), Encyclopedia of Creativity, Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, pp 1693-1700, Springler.
Network analysis has steadily expanded over the past decades within several disciplines, such as sociology, management, and to a lesser extent economics. It has developed both in normative terms and in constructivist analyses based on empirical work. While sometimes limited to a methodological procedure based on mathematical and statistical tools as part of a structural analysis, network analysis has a broader theoretical ambition which has become increasingly pronounced. This paper first shows the diversity of approaches and the influence of the disciplinary starting points. Networks are then characterized in terms of indicators and methods. The interorganizational dimension of networks is more specifically characterized. Finally, the contributions and limits of network theory are discussed.