Analyzing networks in industrial ecology - a review of Social-Material Network Analyses

Article English OPEN
Schiller, F ; Penn, AS ; Basson, L (2014)
  • Publisher: Elsevier BV
  • Journal: Journal of Cleaner Production, volume 76, pages 1-11 (issn: 0959-6526)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.03.029
  • Subject: Environmental Science(all) | Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment | Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering | Strategy and Management

This review concerns the methodological challenges that industrial ecology faces in integrating natural and social sciences. Network analysis can be seen as the most promising method to mediate between industrial ecology's overall systems approach and the complex structures found in society. It is a well established method across scientific disciplines, including the social sciences. It has been successfully applied in industrial ecology, in which localized phenomena of industrial symbiosis have been a key focus, and where metrics from both the social and natural sciences are used to understand socio-metabolic structures. In this paper we classify such studies as Social-Material Network Analyses and we discuss the body of work, drawing on network analyses from various disciplines. A challenge is the hierarchical nature of industrial networks and how it can be addressed socially. We discuss the opportunities and limitations of metric-driven network analysis and offer a review of methodological options for Social-Material Network Analyses. © 2014 The Authors.
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