The ‘Network Perspective’ has emerged as an important influence in organization and management research over the last few decades. The network perspective in this context has no specific definition; instead it generally encompasses the notion of networks and the techniques of network analysis, both of which have long histories in sociology. In this paper we examine empirical articles which use a network perspective in organization studies to see how the use of network analysis and how the concept of ‘network organizations’ is addressed.
It is argued that the use of network analysis and the concept of ‘network organizations’ have little overlap in the literature. The findings show that the use of network analysis techniques is firmly established; however it is not used in investigating network organizations. The literature addressing network organizations is largely theoretical with only a few qualitative empirical studies. Several reasons for the lack of empirical research on network organizations are proposed.