A new approach to organizations: Stability and transformation in dark social networks

W. F. Lawless, Fjorentina Angjellari-Dajci, Donald A. Sofge, James Grayson, José Luis Sousa, Laura Rychly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Uncovering information from well-defined organizations for social network analysis is straightforward, but such analyses of social networks have not led to valid predictions about their actions or stability. For dark social networks, which comprise illicit drug gangs or terrorists, uncovering information to compute a social network analysis is more difficult to solve. The authors used a new theory that is based on the conservation of information to assess organizations and dark social networks, concluding that social network analyses that are properly constrained should be invaluable for bookkeeping (storing information recovered from neighborhood canvasses such as with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Tactical Ground Reporting); for theory (e.g., angiogenesis, in which a tumor takes over the infrastructure of a body; a criminal street gang such as MS-13 takes control of its territory from city authorities); and for benchmarking (e.g., comparing operational performance of models with case studies or random graphs to assure equivalence between models). The results outline a path forward to advance the theory of organizations for enterprise change and continuity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-322
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Enterprise Transformation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011


  • Conservation of information
  • Interdependence
  • Tradeoffs
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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