May 1 – 4 , 2012, Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop 12182

Social, Supply-Chain, Administrative, Business, Commerce, Political networks: a multi-discipline perspective


Matthias Häsel (Otto Group – Hamburg, DE)
Thorsten Quandt (Universität Münster, DE)
Gottfried Vossen (Universität Münster, DE)

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The information society is shaped by an increasing presence of networks in various manifestations. Efficient computer networks are regarded as a significant enabler for the process of change towards networks of any size and complexity. They serve as an administrative and technological basis for social network structures, with the result that online networks connect people all around the world at day and night, and allow to communicate and to work collaboratively, efficiently, and without recognizable time delay. Companies reduce their in-house production depth, join forces in supply chain networks and establish cooperation with their suppliers, with their customers, and even with their competitors. By now, social networks like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or XING are seen as the de facto standard of ``social networking'' in the information society. Companies are mimicking their effects internally, allow overlays of networking applications with regular business ones, and a use of social networks for enterprise purposes including and beyond advertising has become common. Public administrations create and improve shared services and establish ``Private Public Partnerships (PPP)'' to benefit from synergetic effects of cooperation with private and public organizations.

As the interactions between people in these networks increase at various levels, new approaches are needed to analyze and study networks and their effects in such a way that individuals as well as organizations and enterprises can benefit from them. This Perspectives Workshops has convincingly shown that more interaction and collaboration between fields such as information systems, computer science, social sciences, economics, communication sciences and others is needed. The fields need to identify a common level of language, tools and set of methodologies so that the various aspects of networking can be addressed and jointly developed further. The most important point is the need for a renewed multi-disciplinarity. To a great extent, networks are driven and further developed by practitioners; which also means that they are evolving in a very fast manner and not emanating from a single scientific discipline. To be able to both understand them and contribute to the state of art, true inter- or multi-disciplinary research is needed that involves the fields mentioned. As these distinct disciplines grow together and embark on collaborative research, it is also important to convince funding agencies that multi-disciplinary research should arrive on their agendas. Finally, Web sciences need to be developed as a field, and also need to be integrated into teaching. This will most likely lead to novel curricula which receive their content from multiple disciplines in a balanced way.

Related Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop


  • Social Networks
  • Supply-Chain Networks
  • Administrative Networks
  • Business Networks
  • Commerce Networks
  • Political Networks


  • Evolving Networks
  • Network Society
  • Network Drivers
  • Network Cohesion
  • Network Behavior
  • Business Process Integration
  • Ubiquitous Computing
  • Graph Theory


In the series Dagstuhl Reports each Dagstuhl Seminar and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop is documented. The seminar organizers, in cooperation with the collector, prepare a report that includes contributions from the participants' talks together with a summary of the seminar.


Download overview leaflet (PDF).

Dagstuhl's Impact

Please inform us when a publication was published as a result from your seminar. These publications are listed in the category Dagstuhl's Impact and are presented on a special shelf on the ground floor of the library.


Furthermore, a comprehensive peer-reviewed collection of research papers can be published in the series Dagstuhl Follow-Ups.