Social Networks in the Work Force of Riddell

By: Ally Knapp

The original case study is something that we were able to choose from previous theories and concepts that we have discussed in class. Social Networks being a topic that really interests me and I feel can explain this concept with previous situations I have been in and also things we have talked about in class. This case study will be explaining structure and or policy of the topic of Social Networks.

Within the theory and or concept of Social Networks, there are many different types of definitions out there that explains what this term means. In the book Organizational Communication Strategies for Success gives the definition of “An organizational social network is a representation of how social  actors within an organization are socially and structurally connected to others, providing an answer to the “who communicates with whom” question (Avtgis, 2012).” While an article from Academy of Management explaining Social Networks and analysis this specific topic explains “The social network perspective is an example of a theoretical framework that has developed to the point of guiding data collection as well as data analysis (Ticky, 2009).” This specific framework being the behaviors by these communicators who are networking to make themselves marketable. Any company or non-profit organization is going to want to see this from there current employees and also there future workers. If we just talk about the term Social Networks, this regarding the different types of social medias out there such as Facebook, Snap Chat, Instagram and Twitter. Explaining that social networking is the practice of expanding the number of one’s business and/or social contacts by making connections through individuals, often through social media sites (Rouse, 2016). You do this by posting all that you can on these social media sites that you have to mark your self up so that others out there who are in the work field such as yourself can see what you do and are doing for your company.

The company that I untitledhave chose to look at is Riddell. Riddell being a company specializing in equipment mainly within the sport of football. Being a company who wants to protect there athletes with the best of the best equipment to fulfill the needs to help them perform at the highest level possible. The company founded in 1929 by a man of the name of John T. Riddell. First official piece of sports equipment that was ever produced by them was a screw on, removable cleat. Then in 1939 Riddell invented a plastic suspension helmet where this protected millions of soldiers in World War II and then later became the football helmet that everyone wanted to wear (2016). As the game of football has only grown bigger and more complex with the head impacts and injuries taken apon these athletes, Riddell strives to continue to make there equipment the best it can possibly be to help protect these injuries. From impact sensor in helmets to track and record how many times an athlete takes a hit to then shoulder pads making it easier for responders to have easy access in emergency situations, these are just some of the ways how Riddell continues to advance there equipment (2016).

Forming relationships with others who can possibly help you out with a possible job opportunity is crucial. As my dad always tells me its not about what you know its about who you know. This being a line that I constantly reminding myself of because of the plans I have for myself one day and the dreams I want to make happen for not only me but also my career path. Wanting to pursue the career path with somethin to do with equipment and possibly working for the company of Riddell. I have actually been in contact with workers and head positions held up at the Elyria, Ohio factory. Expressing my passion and drive I have to continue to make football equipment the best it possibly can be because of the passion and love I have for football, I communicated with them about my concerns and how I could better there company one day after getting my degree here at Ashland University. Already taken a couple of trips up to Elyria to meet with some of the top employees to talk with them about all that is new and is coming out and also seeing the helmets actually going through the whole reconditioning process and painted newly. This is just one of the many ways forming a good relationship and using your communication skills is key in the work force.

Along with forming good relationships there are types of powers out there that businesses are ran by.  We have reward power, punishment power, legitimate power, expert power and referent power. Each of these having different definitions. First Reward is based on one’s ability to provide incentives. Punishment is based on one’s ability to administer negative consequences. Next is Legitimate which is based on one’s hierarchal position. Expert bases off of ones knowledge base and lastly referent power is based on one’s employee merit and social popularity (Avtgis, 2012). These all playing some type of role in the work place and who and how you should talk too. People forming relationships is also for a personal network of the other people. These are the people with higher positions and who can be a beneficial contact to others. With the different types of powers the different approaches and methods are what varies the different powers (Johnson).

Ethical Standards being something that Riddell does within there company. This being Principles that is when followed they promote values such as trust, good behavior, fairness, and or kindness (2016). These all refer to all the responsibilities one might hold. Riddell does a great job of treating there employees with respect and making sure that there behaviors are in good standings. Listing core values and standards that are expected by all there employees. As many companies have pages of policies, code of ethics, organizational values, and lastly carefully defined work environments (Heathfield, 2016). With these standards this shouldn’t make the  workplace level of expectations any higher just should be there to be known and recognized when needed. Coming into the workplace as a new employee you want to make yourself great and by doing this your first impression I feel is what makes you or breaks you. First impression to me is key and this is one thing I strive to do when meeting new people who possibly one day can help me out. This is one thing that got me to where I am with the Riddell. I went up there and talked to the people I needed to talk to and made myself and marketable as possible and gave my best impression.

Among the importance contribution to the study of social networks this is linked to centrality. Centrality is defined as the level of importance based on ones position within a given social network. Ones level of centrality or importance in a network is based upon the social relationships that he or she has. There are four types of centrality. The first is Degree. This is a quantitive measure of the number of relationships that a single employee has compared to all others. Next is Betweenness is defined as one’s level of importance based on his or her ability to socially connect previously disconnected people. Thirdly Closeness which is defined as the number of steps necessary to reach all other parts of a given social network. Lastly Eigenvector is an idea that rather than being connected to the most people (degree), or being able to connect otherwise disconnected people (betweenness), or being able to reach all others in the social network in the fewest steps possible (closeness), a persons importance is based on whether he or she is connected to people with degree, betweenness, and/or closeness centrality.

Social Networks are only becoming so big now a days. Company’s having there own social media sights market them up even more. According to the sight where they describe all the social media that specific company has and breaks them down into sections. I was able to find Riddell and all there social networks that they have. Having a wide variety of different websites you can find on Riddell. From Facebook, twitter, google plus, stumble upon, and lastly delicious (24 October 2016). Multiple likes and shares and reactions to all the different things Riddell is talking about and coming out with. Facebook being the number one site that is being used just because its one of the ones that have been around the longest. Taking up more then half of the percentage of the breakdown of twitter and Facebook.

Riddell being somewhere where I plan and hope to work one day with my career. Looking into all the new equipment and products that are out there trying to keep up with the knowledge of the company. Obviously known for there football helmets and something that I love looking into and seeing the new helmets that are coming out and also the information that is out there about each of the helmets that are made by them. I plan onto continue to do this and keep up with all the information that is out there for myself and to better my knowledge so one day I can be apart of there team and bring the knowledge that I can to make myself as marketable as possible to help better this company. Talking with head people within the company is just one of the ways I am making my dreams a reality one day.



Avtgis, T., Rancer, A.,&  Liberman, C. (2012). Organizational communication strategies for success.

Dubuque: Kendall Hunt.


Tichy, N., Tushman, M., & Fombrun, C. (3 September 2009). Social networks analyzing for organizations.

Academy of Management. Retrieved from:



Rouse, Margaret. (September 2016). Social networking. Whatis. com. Retrieved from


(2016). Riddell. Linked in. Retrieved from


(2016). Business Dictionary. Retrieved from


Heathfield, S. ( 28 June, 2016). Did you bring your ethics to work today? Find examples of failure to

practice fundamental workplace ethics. The Balance. Retrieved from


Johnson, J. 5 types of powers in business. Chron. Retrieved from



(24 October 2016). Social media impact for Cool Social Website Social Media Analyzer. Retrieved from



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