Roizen Case Study Essay
Roizen Case Study
1. When her fiancé tragically died while she was attending Standford University, Heidi Roizen realized that her life had begun to revolve around his (McGinn & Tempest 2010). Abandoning the structure of a closed clique network (Class Slides) with her fiancé as the hub, Roizen began developing her own networks, to regain power over her relationships and her personal trajectory.
Roizen engaged her existing networks of friends (which she had likely developed through the Proximity Principle for network building) to obtain a contact for a desired job of newsletter editor at Tandem (Class Slides). Further, she landed the job thanks to the Self-Similarity Principle (Class Slides), by hitting it off with the manager in charge of hiring.
After attending Stanford’s business graduate program, Roizen utilized her new clique of Stanford graduates and her existing clique of family by founding T/Maker with Royal Farros (her classmate) and her brother.
To promote T/Maker’s software, Roizen expanded her career networks to include press, industry experts and leaders via various software industry engagements. She began a network with Apple by focusing T/Maker towards the Macintosh, and she planted the seeds of a venture capitalist network by garnering venture capital for T/Maker (McGinn & Tempest 2010). While it may seem that Roizen focused entirely on the network arena of career, she did also develop networks based on well-being and task (Class Slides). On the well-being front, Roizen had her family ties, but readily mixed personal and business networks – she would use every chance encounter at the gym, jogging, and other Shared Activities (Class Slides), to expand her networks. Back on the career front, through networked credibility, Roizen eventually went to Apple.
Roizen’s 14 years as part of the software developer network came into play when she was tasked to obtain commitment to Apple from nervous developer CEOs (many of which she knew personally). While Roizen may have spent more time developing her networks into Cliques than perhaps necessary, she would likely not have been able to obtain the commitments without her strong ties with them (Class Slides). Later in her career, Roizen again leveraged her software developer network (especially from her Apple experience) in her role as Mentor Capitalist, to help fill recruitment needs in the companies for which she was an active board member.
Essentially, Roizen had become a full time network broker. It wasn’t until she had joined Softbank Venture Capital, however, that Roizen focused on making her networks are efficient as possible. She did so by establishing strong inner clique networks which included as members the “nuclei” or brokers of other clique networks, thus creating an overall entrepreneurial structure in “constellation” form (McGinn & Tempest 2010). This allowed her to access opportunities in other networks while only having strong ties to a few in those networks, true to the Rainmaker network model (Class Slides).
2. The strengths of Heidi Roizen’s networks at the end of the case are: •Rainmaker networks will enable Roizen to act as the bridge between venture capital firms and funding sources, without requiring additional close ties (Pfeffer 2008) •The networks are extensive and diverse in terms of breadth, which means Roizen should be less susceptible to being influenced in her new role (Class Slides) •Roizen has fostered strong ties, which means she will be later able to draw on those personal connections (Conger 1998) for more significant requests through her influence and effectiveness (Baker 2001) •Once approved for funding, exploitation networking efforts, transactions and group performance are better coordinated if there is strong trust (Pfeffer 2008)
•Roizen herself obtains happiness from maintaining close relationships with so many individuals (Baker 2001) •Roizen’s skills and knowledge regarding Internet ventures will improve through the network, as she creates value in bridging network holes (Baker 2001) The weaknesses of Heidi Roizen’s networks at the end of the case are: •Exploitation networking efforts don’t require tight connectedness (Pfeffer 2008) •Networks are too cohesive and redundancy is beginning to show through the discovery that many of the new enterprises are connected to individuals in her cliques or close networks (Pfeffer 2008) •The networks seem more designed to help a start up succeed rather than assist with obtaining funding – only weak ties are needed for venture capitalists to bridge companies with fund sources (Pfeffer 2008) •Due to the depth of her ties, Roizen has started to act inconsistently by not looking at some investment deals – she may eventually be punished via social norms for this by the cliques involved (Pfeffer 2008)
•Due to her financial bias, Roizen is favoring Softbank clients, rather than finding the best mutually beneficial fit for a job-hunting contact 3. Heidi Roizen developed her networks through a number of techniques, including those used to influence, which are outlined below: •Likeability (Cialdini 2001) – Roizen portrayed a “genuine, down-to-earth personality”, was also noted to maximize short conversations with memorable ideas, and gave her undivided attention to audiences, reporters, anyone she considered talented (McGinn & Tempest 2010) •Reciprocity (Cialdini 2001) – by assisting with recruiting, in particular during her days as a Mentor Capitalist, and by providing access to influential people in the software industry (Pfeffer 2010)
•Social Proof (Cialdini 2001) – by disregarding requests from those who have violated Roizen’s norms around responsiveness and consistency •Consistency (Cialdini 2001) – by following through on her promises in a prompt manner (e.g. emailing immediately after a new connection) •Identifying mutual benefits and commonalities (Conger 1998), establishing personal ties but also using those personal ties (Pfeffer 2010) – Roizen was especially focused this during the Macintosh situation mentioned above, but also used this in general to further herself in the software industry and gain expertise •Expanding networks through shared activities (Class Slides) – for example, through incidental encounters at the gym or by going out and engaging the media Roizen then maintained the networks through the following:
•Authority (Cialdini 2001) – once established as an expert, by leveraging that knowledge such as in persuading software developers to stay with the Macintosh operating system •Credibility, which comes from trust and a consistent track record (Conger 1998) – despite working for Apple, Roizen was recognized as “one of Apple’s most outspoken proponents and critics”; she also handled confidential discussions with competing software developers with care (McGinn & Tempest 2010) •Strong reciprocity – her contacts are her friends “for life” and she maintains that she only connects people if she is certain it’s beneficial for both •Reinforcing her personal network through events such as her networking parties – being a “super-connector” (Class Slides)
•Bridging structural holes to connect disparate networks (Pfeffer 2008) and so reinforce them, but also adjusting her network because of its size into the constellation format (McGinn & Tempest 2010) 4.Similar to Heidi Roizen, I too have a clique network comprised of primarily family and friends, for support and well-being (Class Slides). However there is no overlap between this clique and my other networks, a difference which appears to be only due to personal style. While Roizen has a vast intricacy of networks related to her career which are of the Rainmaker structure, I have only a few such networks that are primarily Entrepreneurial in structure for garnering ideas and putting change in motion (Class Slides). These networks for me coincide with social networks and include a variety of different social groups that do not otherwise interact. The context of my level of experience in contrast to Roizen means that these networks could and should develop more as I further my career.
While Roizen has focused on both breadth and depth in her connections, I have left many of my networks with weak ties, thanks to the advent of social media and virtual teams. About half of my networks exist in the virtual realm, from overseas teams I engage as part of my employment to virtual book clubs to close friends and family that live abroad. That said, these networks were established based on self-similarity and initial proximity, rather than shared activities (Class Slides). Finally, where Roizen has made strong attempts to maximize all three dimensions of diversity, brokerage and density in her networks (Class Slides), I have left my networks undeveloped or progressively stagnant, which I can only attribute to my own need for change.
5.My suggestions for Heidi Roizen as to how to adjust and maintain her network are as follows: •Focus on expanding the breadth of her network, especially as she is consistently encountering redundancy in the enterprises she is assessing (Pfeffer 2008) •Consider developing weaker ties as strong ones are not necessary in order to maintain the network benefits unless for a significant request – not everyone can be your friend and there is only so much time in the day to respond to plans/new enterprises •Reduce hosting parties to once a year, to make the personal networking more meaningful while still maintaining a bare minimum connection
•Focus on what she really wants out of her networks and consider shifting her networking and/or her work focus – as it appears to be helping start-ups once they have already been funded, perhaps consider that for 100% of her work effort at Softbank •Prune her existing core network to be smaller, consider ending certain relationships if they are no longer beneficial in the context of her new role (Baker 2001) •A perception of networking is that the sooner a contact is utilized as part of reciprocity, the more you have to gain (Class Slides) – consider searching for a fixed number of individuals with an overall goal in mind (without being unethical and disingenuous)
Subject: Social network,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 25 October 2016
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