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Networks and Innovation in the Production of Communication: Explaining Innovations in U.S. Electoral Campaigning From 2004 to 2012


Journal of Communication

Published online on


We outline a network analytic framework for analyzing the production of communication. In our framework, individuals—in part the products of the history of their social and professional ties—merge from various fields and a medley of prior production experiences within organizations to produce communicative innovations. Organizations with individuals who have diverse backgrounds and significant overlap in work experiences will be more innovative. We demonstrate this through a network analysis of the professional biographies of 629 staffers on U.S. presidential campaigns from 2004 to 2012. Democratic staffers came from more diverse organizations and shared significant overlap in prior experiences than their Republican counterparts. Through interview data, we argue that this in part explains Democratic innovativeness in technology during this period.