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Social Networks

Part 3. Consumer Behavior

  1. Jacob Goldenberg1,2

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem03010

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Goldenberg, J. 2010. Social Networks. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

  2. 2

    Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Networks play an important role in a wide and varied set of social and economic situations (e.g., job opportunity dissemination, non-centralized market trade innovation adoption). This body of literature can be classified into two research themes: (i) network formation; and (ii) information dissemination over networks. One of the most interesting properties of network research is that researchers in a wide range of fields work on similar problems, using similar definitions, and obtain coherent results on networks dynamics. In the last two decades, social science research has advanced understanding of global network properties, with discoveries related to general properties, including scale-free structure, small worlds, clustering, and short paths. More recently, we have seen considerable efforts invested by scholars in different fields in understanding how these properties emerge, and identifying the local rules of behavior that lead to these structures. In this article, this field is briefly covered with emphasis on marketing related topics.


  • social networks;
  • diffusion;
  • nodes;
  • social ties