Mapping the scientific structure of organization and management of enterprises using complex networks

Authors: Olivares Gil, A., Arnaiz Rodríguez, A., Ramírez Sanz, J. M., Garrido Labrador, J. L., Ahedo García, V., García Osorio, C., Santos Martín, J. I., Galán Ordax, J. M.

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Publication: International Journal of Production Management and Engineering , 10(1) p. 65-76, 2022
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Understanding the scientific and social structure of a discipline is a fundamental aspect for scientific evaluation processes, identifying trends and niches, and balancing the trade-off between exploitation and exploration in research. In the present contribution, the production of doctoral theses is used as a proxy to analyze the scientific structure of the knowledge area of business organization in Spain. To that end, a complex networks approach is selected, and two different networks are built: (i) the social network of co-participation in thesis examining committees and thesis supervision, and (ii) a bipartite network of theses and thesis descriptors. The former has a modular structure that is partially explained by thematic specialization in different subdisciplines. The latter serves to assess the interdisciplinary structure of the discipline, as it enables the characterization of affinity levels between fields, research poles and thematic clusters. Our results have implications for the scientific evaluation and formal definition of related fields.