Collaborative problem solving for community safety
Collaborative problem solving for community safety

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Collaborative problem solving for community safety

3.2 What does networking look like in practice?

A network is basically a group of interconnected people with a common interest. The network is the result of making these connections – otherwise known as networking. However network relationships also have a number of other characteristics which distinguish them from those found in organisations, communities or friendship groups.

The connections in a network tend to be fairly informal, without contractual ties. At the same time though, a network relationship develops on the basis of ongoing reciprocal obligations, so it tends to be more formal than a friendship. What turns something from a social event with friends into a networking activity is the common purpose – you have a reason beyond just liking the people you are interacting with.

According to Himmelman (1996), a researcher in different forms of collaboration, the main purpose of a network is to facilitate exchanges of information between members for mutual benefit. To that we might add the exchange of personal resources such as skills, knowledge and contacts for mutual benefit.

CPS_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371