Social network analysis in accounting information systems research

Academic Article


  • This paper introduces social network analysis as an alternative research method for conducting accounting information systems related research. With advances in information and communication technologies, transaction data are being recorded in electronic form, resulting in a variety of research opportunities to examine dyadic interactions. A network consists of a set of nodes connected by ties. Social network research focuses on how outcomes are influenced not just by the attributes of the nodes (e.g. individuals), but also by the ties connecting nodes to each other. The nodes are typically conceptualized as actors, such as individuals, teams, or organizations. A unique network structure is created to reflect each different type of tie, such as trust, advice, collocation, or organizational affiliation. Social network analysis can be used for research examining individual, dyadic or network levels of analyses, and is a powerful tool for conducting multi-method research. Given the vast amounts of trace electronic data collected via accounting information systems, this paper reviews how social network analysis not only opens new research avenues for accounting information systems researchers, but identifies opportunities for the field of accounting information systems to inform social network research by identifying new network structures and dynamics leveraging transactional data. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Worrell J; Wasko M; Johnston A
  • Start Page

  • 127
  • End Page

  • 137
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 2