A1 Journal article (refereed)
Civil Society Networks and Malaysian Government Reform : Considering Issue Homophily in Interorganizational Relationships (2022)

Sommerfeldt, E. J., Saffer, A. J., & Luoma-aho, V. (2022). Civil Society Networks and Malaysian Government Reform : Considering Issue Homophily in Interorganizational Relationships. Journal of Communication, 72(2), 264-296. https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqac001

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Sommerfeldt, Erich J.; Saffer, Adam J.; Luoma-aho, Vilma

Journal or series: Journal of Communication

ISSN: 0021-9916

eISSN: 1460-2466

Publication year: 2022

Publication date: 29/01/2022

Volume: 72

Issue number: 2

Pages range: 264-296

Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqac001

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access: Channel is not openly available


While communication research on interorganizational homophily has grown, little is known about how issue homophily—defined here as the propensity to form ties based on shared issue priorities—influences interorganizational relationships in civil society. Our theoretical framework brings together homophily research and issue niche theory to explore the potential influence issues have on interorganizational network tie formation. Our empirical case is the network of civil society organizations focused on government reform in Malaysia. Using data gathered from a survey with organizational leaders (n = 90), exponential random graph models with binary and valued data explored how two types of homophily are associated with tie formation and cooperation in interorganizational relationships. Key findings from the study include that more important issues appear to drive tie formation and levels of cooperation in the network, only specific issues lead to homophilous ties, and issue homophily does not lead to greater levels of cooperation among civil society organizations.

Keywords: organisations (systems); networks (societal phenomena); networking (making contacts); cooperation (general); harmonisation; challenges; civil society; influencing; effects (results); societal change

Free keywords: homophily; networks; issues; issue Niche theory; Malaysia; civil society; exponential random graph models; ERGM

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2023-21-08 at 13:53