Category Archives: Organizations & Sociology

Sociology Books

A Top 100 List of Sociology Books



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Innovation hubs (I)

A few innovation hubs, accelerators, incubators and other community-based startup support organizations to check out:

London: Level39

According to Level39’s website, “Level39 is Europe’s largest technology accelerator for finance, retail, cyber-security and future cities technology companies​”. With an interesting focus, at a hip location this hub is part of the exciting London startup scene.


New York: Impact Hub for social innovation

“Impact Hubs are where change goes to work. Part innovation lab, part business incubator, and part community center, we offer our members a unique ecosystem of resources, inspiration, and collaboration opportunities to grow impact. We believe a better world evolves through the combined accomplishments of creative, committed and compassionate individuals focused on a common purpose.  Joining our diverse community of members and collaborators will inspire, connect, and enable you to develop your best work every step of the way.”

InpactHub is international and have a number of locations around the globe.

Cambridge cluster: St John’s Innovation Center

One of the oldest innovation centers in Europe offering innovation support services.

London: HUB Westminster (Social Enterprises)

A short video that discusses the pros and cons of the hub work style.

Osaka: Osaka Innovation Hub


Imperial West

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What to read? Classics from economic sociology to management

This new series will list some of the classics (management, organizations, institutionalism, sociology, economic sociology) and useful books that might be included in a phd course or should be read by students to get a good foundation!

Fligstein’s The Architecture of Markets is a must read to understand how markets are built up on sociological foundations. Kathleen Thelen’s book, How Institutions Evolve, is  a very interesting piece on institutional evolution, chapters are taken up and discussed in many PhD courses I know of (for example at Stanford).


Below are two books on organization theory with different approaches: Stinchcombe’s Information and Organizations and Hannan & Freeman’s Organizational Ecology.


The next too are dealing with categories and their implications(Bowker & Star’s Sorting Things Out), and the social construction of reality (Berger & Luckmann).



Not a classic yet, but this book features a good collection of papers on how clusters form and evolve, with examples from hollywood to biotech in Europe, US and China. It also contain papers that analyze how policies influence cluster development.


(To be continued)

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Understanding the mechanism of cities: Santa Fe Institute

An old (2011) video from the Sante Fe institute on the research agenda on understanding the dynamics of cities. I had been interested in the biological organism and complex network metaphor in respect to cities and organizational fields, so I am a big fan of the research! The main page of the project is here.

“SFI’s Cities, Scaling, and Sustainability research effort is creating an interdisciplinary approach and quantitative synthesis of organizational and dynamical aspects of human social organizations, with an emphasis on cities. Different disciplinary perspectives are being integrated in terms of the search for similar dependences of urban indicators on population size – scaling analysis – and other variables that characterize the system as a whole. A particularly important focus of this research area is to develop theoretical insights about cities that can inform quantitative analyses of their long-term sustainability in terms of the interplay between innovation, resource appropriation, and consumption and the make up of their social and economic activity. This focus area brings together urban planners, economists, sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, and complex system theorists with the aim of generating an integrated and quantitative understanding of cities. Outstanding areas of research include the identification of general scaling patterns in urban infrastructure and dynamics around the world, the quantification of resource distribution networks in cities and their interplay with the city’s socioeconomic fabric, issues of temporal acceleration and spatial density, and the long-term dynamics of urban systems.”
– Santa Fe Institute

Also watch a TED talk by Geoffrey West about some of the insights on the mathematics of cities.


June 27, 2013 · 4:11 pm

Weekly Quote: Intertextuality and discourse

“Until then I had thought each book spoke of the things, human or divine, that lie outside books. Now I realized that not infrequently books speak of books: it is as if they spoke among themselves. In the light of this reflection, the library seemed all the more disturbing to me. It was then the place of a long, centuries-old murmuring, an imperceptible dialogue between one parchment and another, a living thing, a receptacle of powers not to be ruled by a human mind, a treasure of secrets emanated by many minds, surviving the death of those who had produced them or had been their conveyors.”

― Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose                    Image

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What is necessary for successful entrepreneurship: it is not money

I often attend lectures by Howard Aldrich, one of the core researchers on entrepreneurship. He points out in this short video that first phase is not just about getting money and access to capital, but also about how to get organized, and that is the difficult part of it.

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June 25, 2013 · 2:51 am

Collaboration networks in the video game industry

A little while back I came across an interesting paper with an huge set of data from Maathijs de Vaan, Balazs Vedres, and David Stark.

I have read several papers from Vedres & Stark (one of their papers is also included in the Padgett & Powell book I introduced in one of the early posts). These papers utilize very creative ways to analyze networks and also introduce the concept of ‘inter-cohesion’.

This one, however, deals with the video game industry, and provides an interesting look at networks in creative industries.

Abstract: To test the proposition that a high level of recurring cohesion and a high level of stylistic diversity can combine for successful team performance, this study constructs a dataset of the careers of 139,727 individuals who participated in project teams producing 16,507 video games between 1979 and 2009. Findings indicate that teams with more dissimilar stylistic experiences outperform teams with more homogenous backgrounds, but only for higher levels of recurring cohesion. Teams with high diversity and high social cohesion are better able to harmonize the noisy cacophony of an (otherwise) excessive plurality of voices, thereby exploiting the potential beneficial effects of cognitive diversity.

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Backdrop to Medicon Valley

One highlighted and always developing regional cluster between Sweden and Denmark.

Around one year ago I attended a symposium on biotechnology hubs. Finn Valentine from CBS had a presentation based on biotechnology patents in the Medicon Valley.

This video seems to be a promotional video to the South Swedish region for investors. I only include here to get a feel of Medicon Valley.

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June 23, 2013 · 10:23 am

Dynamics of real-world networks

Today one of the central issues in network science is dynamics. This lecture gives a good overview on this subject by looking at large social networking data sets.

Two of the main subjects discussed:
1. Dynamics and change of network structure
2. Propagation, diffusion and cascades

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June 23, 2013 · 5:58 am

Beautiful network visualization of a research collaboration network (Max Planck Institutes)

This is how networks come alive. Created with open source software for the Max Planck Institute.

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June 21, 2013 · 4:35 pm