Brokerage activity, exclusivity and role diversity: A three-dimensional approach to brokerage in networks

Per Becker, Örjan Bodin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this paper is to connect central theoretical contributions to the study of brokerage and propose a novel conceptual and analytical approach for investigating it. On one hand, it builds on, and further substantiate the utility of, the innovation of conceptualizing brokerage activity and brokerage exclusivity separately, whilst analyzing them together. On the other hand, it also builds on the seminal notion of qualitatively different brokerage roles and introduces the conceptual innovation of brokerage role diversity to study the implications of and for actors occupying one or several roles to similar or varying degrees. These implications are further unpacked by analyzing the specific brokerage activity and exclusivity for each brokerage role separately, before reassembling the results into a rich description of the patterns of brokerage among different types of actors. This three-dimensional approach was applied to study brokerage in a network of individual actors governing flood risk mitigation in a catchment area in Southern Sweden. The results suggest that studying these three dimensions of brokerage simultaneously provides a sharper lens that picks up important nuances that available approaches may fail to reveal. The paper makes a substantive contribution to the knowledge of brokerage in collaborative governance of complex issues, as well as a methodological contribution to the study of brokerage in general.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-283
JournalSocial Networks
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sociology
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Social network analysis
  • Brokerage
  • Brokerage activity
  • Brokerage exclusivity
  • Brokerage role diversity
  • Brokerage role
  • Governance


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