Yielding Powerful Insights Through Relationship Mapping

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Understanding relationships and dynamics within a system can be tough. As researchers and strategists, we rely on people to articulate the nuances of their relationships, but they might not always be the best storytellers. Relationship mapping is a great way to prompt participants to quickly paint a holistic picture of a system.

Relationship mapping is a collaborative tool to capture powerful stories. By providing participants with a tangible way to aid discussion, relationship mapping helps researchers and strategists accomplish three main goals:

  1. Determine linkages between actors in a system
  2. Show influence of the actors involved, including where and how value is gained in each relationship
  3. Uncover the nature of these interactions, such as frequency, topics, mode, etc.

Relationship Mapping During Research Sessions

Sometimes research seeks answers to delicate questions, and participants may sometimes be reluctant to open up or unable to articulate their views. By using relationship mapping, you will capture additional layers of information (e.g. channels used to communicate) and enable honest disclosure on complex topics. Using this method allows us to:

  • Prompt participant memory and better articulate their perspectives on sensitive topics
  • Cover more ground by approaching the research goal from multiple angles
  • Translate inferred meaning into clear and specific answers
  • Meet stakeholders’ needs of easily socialising research output
  • Save time and money via a low-cost method with minimal preparation
  • Remain flexible for use in a variety contexts and interview locations

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