One large group was centered around Harrison White and his students at Harvard University: Ivan Chase, Bonnie Erickson, Harriet Friedmann, Mark Granovetter, Nancy Howell, Joel Levine, Nicholas Mullins, John Padgett, Michael Schwartz and Barry Wellman.
White's group thought of themselves as rebelling against the reigning structural-functionalist orthodoxy of then-dominant Harvard sociologist Talcott Parsons, leading them to devalue concerns with symbols, values, norms and culture.
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That is, for groups such as companies, schools, or membership societies, the analyst was expected to have complete information about who was in the network, all participants being both potential egos and alters.
Kimball Romney and Douglas White; quantitative analysts at the University of Chicago, including Joseph Galaskiewicz, Wendy Griswold, Edward Laumann, Peter Marsden, Martina Morris, and John Padgett; and communication scholars at Michigan State University, including Nan Lin and Everett Rogers.
A substantively-oriented University of Toronto sociology group developed in the 1970s, centered on former students of Harrison White: S. Berkowitz, Harriet Friedmann, Nancy Leslie Howard, Nancy Howell, Lorne Tepperman and Barry Wellman, and also including noted modeler and game theorist Anatol Rapoport. However, Prof Dunbar has done some research on social networks and found the 150 number still holds : Dunbar is now studying social networking websites to see if the “Facebook effect” has stretched the size of social groupings.
This approach has turned out to be useful for explaining many real-world phenomena, but leaves less room for individual agency, the ability for individuals to influence their success, because so much of it rests within the structure of their network.
Social networks have also been used to examine how organizations interact with each other, characterizing the many informal connections that link executives together, as well as associations and connections between individual employees at different organizations.