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Heterophily, or love of the different, is the tendency of individuals to collect in diverse groups; it is the opposite of homophily. This phenomenon is notable in successful organizations, where the resulting diversity of ideas is thought to promote an innovative environment. Recently it has become an area of social network analysis.
Most of the early work in heterophily was done in the 1960s by Everett Rogers in his book Diffusion Of Innovations. Rogers showed that heterophilious networks were better able to spread innovations. Later, scholars such as Paul Burton have drawn connections between modern Social Network Analysis as practiced by Mark Granovetter in his theory of weak ties and the work of Georg Simmel. Burton found that Simmel's notion of "the stranger" is equivalent to Granovetter's weak tie in that both can bridge homophilious networks, turning them into one larger heterophilious network.
- Complex adaptive systems and the diffusion of innovation by Everett M. Rogers, Una E. Medina, Mario A. Rivera and Cody J. Wiley
- Dimensions of social networks as predictors of employee performance by Paul Burton
- Rogers, E.M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.), New York: Free Press.
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