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Table 1 Central leadership positions, brokerage positions and the activities associated with each

From: Leadership in complex networks: the importance of network position and strategic action in a translational cancer research network

Network role Position Role Activity Comment
Central actor Interacts with the most other members Leader Leading, making decisions, co-ordinating, communicating The actor interacts with the most other actors [15, 36]
High degree Expert, opinion leader Leading, giving expert advice, mentoring, communicating The actor is a credible source of information and can lead change [37, 38]
Broker Links other who are not linked themselves Boundary spanner, bridge, liaison Representing, advocating, being a go-between, communicating The actor links to a person or group outside of the network [17, 39]
High betweenness, high effective size Bridge, broker Linking, being a go-between, communicating The actor facilitates collaboration between actors within the network [40, 41]
Knowledge broker, mediator, cultural boundary-spanner Providing expert advice, resolving conflicts, facilitating, interpreting, communicating The actor stands between other network members and facilitates the interaction [19, 42]
   Gatekeeper Controlling the flow of information or resources, communicating May be positive (stopping unnecessary overload) or negative (impeding access; setting up inequalities) [38, 39]
  1. Note. Activities listed in the column marked ‘Activities’ were shown to the governing body members as part of the interview and asked: ‘Which of these activities are you doing now or expect to do in the future to further the aims of the network?’