Characterizing stakeholders of aging-in-place through social network analysis : A study of Nanjing, China

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Shenghua Zhou
  • Dezhi Li
  • Jiankun Zhang
  • Jie Fan
  • Yifan Yang


Original languageEnglish
Article number6722
Journal / PublicationSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number23
Online published27 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes



China currently has an elderly population of 249 million with over 97% of them ending up aging in place. Although various regional pilot programs have been conducted, a sustainable aging-in-place system has not been established to effectively and efficiently provide aging services in many cities of China. The characteristics of stakeholder networks in the aging-in-place systems have not attracted great attention from researchers. This research applies social network analysis to characterize the interactions of stakeholders in aging-in-place systems to facilitate cooperation and coordination amongst them. Using Nanjing as a case study, 23 stakeholders in Nanjing's aging-in-place system are identified, such as the Aging Affairs Committee, Aging-in-Place Service Association, and aging-in-place service centers; and then the relationship networks of these stakeholders in terms of communication, supervision, and trust are developed and analyzed. The results show that the aging-in-place system suffers from certain defects, including the loose connection of government departments, redundant information channels, low trustworthiness of certain aging-in-place service centers, poor credibility of third-party training and assessment institutions, and excess power of the industry association. To tackle these issues, a wide spectrum of actionable measures applicable to Nanjing's conditions, as well as high-level policy implications for other cities of China, are proposed for augmenting the communication, supervision, and trust among stakeholder groups.

Research Area(s)

  • Aging in place, China, Social network analysis, Stakeholder

Citation Format(s)

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