Social Networks, A Review

November 14, 2011 § Leave a comment


Durkheim (1893) motivated the sociological concern for effects of social structure on individuals.

Social network theory has roots in sociometrics and graph theory (Moreno, 60; Erdös, 59).

Early social psychologists used social networks to study determinants of friendships such as spatial distance, balance theory and sociograms (Festinger et al., 50; Heider, 58).

The development of weak ties and centrality in the 70s brought a distinct identity to social network theory (Gran, 73; Freeman, 77).


Social network theory explores the body of knowledge relating organizational life to the topology of social structure. The use of social networks solely as a methodological tool triggered debate whether development was still theoretical in Popperian terms (Popper, 02).

However, the two approaches are not contradictory if the scientific objectives are clarified.

The classification of networks as either an analytical tool or phenomena of social structure focuses on governance.


Raider & Krackhardt (02) propose various levels of social structure such as the dyad, the ego network and the group network.

Borgatti (03) distinguishes explanatory goals as the performance or homogeneity effects of social structure using the mechanisms of diffusion or social capital.

Mechanisms of networks can focus on reach or demand effects.

Reach effects are consequences of social access to remote resources such as job opportunity and demand effects where actors are the object of relations such as status (Gran,73; Park & Podolny, 00).


Borgatti (03) focuses on structuralist and connectionist mechanisms where structuralist effects are the benefits of position and connectionist effects are the actual flows across structure (Cook & Emerson, 78).

Burt’s (92) structural holes paradigm analyzes both structuralist benefits where control advantages accrue at the broker position and connectionist benefits that have information advantages.

Podolny (01) proposed pipes and prisms model where brokerage resolves uncertainty through information flows and status is more efficient with minimal uncertainty.

In Borgatti’s framework classes of outcomes are structural or social capital through brokerage, environmental shaping, social access or contagion (Burt, 92a; Khanna & Palepu, 99; 01; Strang & Macy, 01).


Giddens (79) embeddedness perspective uses the social network as a reconciliation mechanism between structure and agency.

Granovetter (92) made a similar distinction between structural and network form and relational embeddedness. Organizations are embedded in network structures that constrain actions and provide opportunities to achieve goals.

A study of the NYC apparel industry viewed embeddedness as a form of governance contrasted to arm’s-length relations that generates outcomes independent of the narrow economic interest of the relationship (Uzzi, 96; 97).


Betweeness centrality identifies positions with the potential for control of communication (Freeman 77).

Burt (80; 92a; 92b; 01b) focused on structural holes and brokerage positions.

Brokerage, the disconnection between structural holes that lead to information and control benefits was reformulated as a source of social capital.

Social capital is a salient concept not matched to a topological definition similar to embeddedness.


Social capital is hypothesized as capital attached to belonging to a network of relationships human, economic, or cultural.

Bourdieu’s (86) social capital is the aspect of the social context that enables action, with value coming from trust, information, and norms (Coleman 88).

Status refers to ordering and argues status and structural holes have opposing effects if confronted by egocentric uncertainty (Podolny, 01).

High status benefits less from ego-uncertainty, and resolves alter uncertainty.

Burt (01a) found support for disadvantaged actors gain no benefit from playing broker, but they gain from closure around tight group of sponsors.


Structural preference is antecedent of social network analysis and assumes the existence of network relationships and examines consequences.

The origin of relations focuses on proximity and similarity (Newcomb, 43).

A homophilous tendency means that existing organizational demography influences social structure and future evolution (Blau 77; McPherson & Rotolo 96).

Barley (90) studied how technology shapes structures by the mediation of roles in different contexts and different social interactions.

Mehra and Kilduff (01) found that high self-monitors are likely to occupy central positions in social networks.


Emotions/Affect, A Review

November 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

EMOTIONS/AFFECT: Feelings of workers: how organizations affect them and how they affect organizations.

Fisher, Hanna (1931)job dissatisfaction as the product of “nonadjustive emotional tendenciesunrest is misattributed by workers to their job situations.

Attitude, “persistent tendency to feel and behave in a particular way toward some object” (Luthans, 2002)

Moodsgeneralized feeling states not typically identified with a particular stimulus and not sufficiently intense to interrupt thought processes (Thayer 1989)

Emotionsassociated with specific events or occurrences and are intense enough to disrupt thought processes (Frijda 1993)


AFFECTIVE STATUS OF JOB SATISFACTION: “positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job”; cognitive, affective dimension(Organ, Near 1985)

Brief & Roberson Paradox: Job satisfaction construed in affective terms, only its cognitive aspects are measured

Job satisfaction: (a) Evaluative judgment, affect antecedent, and (b) Affective component, then affect an indicator


Dispositional Influences: Job satisfaction is influenced by “affective dispositions” (Judge 1992), Personality traits labeled temperaments (Watson 2000)

Neuroticism [negative affectivity (NA)] and extroversion [positive affectivity (PA)] (Watson & Clark 1992)

Processes by which temperaments can influence job satisfaction are not yet well understood

Personality operates through multiple channels to affect job satisfaction



Exogenous Factors:in the workplace that influence the feelings experienced, notcarryover states, recurring cycles, or dispositional influences.

(George 1996): stressful events, leaders, workgroup characteristics, physical settings, organizational rewards and punishments.

Positives; Advances methodologically, increased use of experience sampling, less reliance on cross-sectional designs.

Negatives; Discrete emotions not focus of study; Economic events/conditions have not taken their appropriate place as potential job stressors

Potential job stressorshas no widely accepted theoretical frame of reference.


Leaders:affect followers (George 2000). Transformational leaders use strong emotions to arouse similar feelings in audiences (Conger & Kanungo 1998).

Managers foster and shape arousal through symbols (Ashforth & Humphrey 1995). Fitness (2000)what angered people depended upon their organizational position.


Work Group Characteristics: work groups commonly have consistent or homogeneous affective reactions (George 1990, 1995)

Group affective tonecharacteristic levels of personality traits within groups, resulting from ASA processes (Schneider 1987)

(a) Common socialization, influences (Hackman 1992); (b) Task similarity and interdependence (Gallupe et al. 1991); (c) Membership stability; (d) Mood regulation (Sutton 1991); (e) Emotional contagion (Hatfield et al. 1994);

Barsade (2002) positive emotional contagion leads to greater cooperativeness,reduces group conflict, rate task performance and others in group more highly.

Suggests a social dynamics mediation through the process of sharing emotions for an organizational outcome to appear.

Meso Organizational effects of emotions: Huy’s (1999; 2002) More effort in elaborating a multi-level analysis of effects of emotions in org change situations

Links individual level affects “emotional reconciliationand org-level affects such as “identification with the organization” to predict receptivity to org change

Huy (2002) Two salient emotional dimensions: emotional commitment to personally champion the change projects and attending to recipients’ emotions


Physical Settings:Oldham et al. (1995): music improved the mood states of workers

Rafaeli & Sutton (1990)store busyness related negatively to cashiers’ displayed positive emotion, and customer demand to be related to positively

Wasserman et al. (2000), links between the aesthetics of symbols in organizations and the emotions felt by potential participants


Rewards/Punishments: Weiss et al. (1999b) Happiness influenced by outcomes,procedural fairness playing little role;

Guilt, anger, and, pride were influenced by specific combinations of outcomes and procedures.

Justice orientation to understanding affective reactions to organizational rewards/punishments largely ignored.



Judgments: Judge & Ferris (1993) Interpersonal affect and liking related to both performance ratings and intervening cognitive processes.

Fried et al. (1999) Relationship between NA and deliberate rating inflation.

Saavedra & Earley (1991) Self-efficacy higher exposed to a positive affect manipulation than to a negative affect manipulation.


Creative Problem Solving: Positive mood can enhance creative problem solving (Isen 1999).

Madjar et al. (2001) Positive mood, but not negative mood, predicted job ratings of creativity and mediated effects of social support on creativity ratings.


Helping Behaviors: Positive mood generally encourages helping behavior and reduces aggression (Isen & Baron 1991).

George (1991) Positive mood in previous week predicted supervisor ratings of altruism; leader’s positive mood predicted group members’ self-reports of customer service


General Performance: Positive affective states facilitate creativity and efficacy judgments, Negative affective states more thorough canvassing of problem solutions and more accurate judgments (Staw 1993).


Negotiations: Positive affect enhances cooperation, search for creative solutions (Forgas 1998)

Anger reactions can lead to reject offers in their best interests judged by pure economic standards (George et al. 1998),


Withdrawal Behaviors:Positive, but not negative, moods predicted absenteeism and that positive and negative moods predicted turnover intentions (George, 1989).

Cropanzano et al. (1993) NA and PA correlated with turnover intentions, with commitment mediating the effect

Pelled & Xin (1999) Both positive and negative mood predicted subsequent absenteeism, positive mood was more influential. Only negative mood predicts turnover.


Limitations of Research: Overemphasis study of mood at expense of discrete emotions

Less focused on particular performance dimensions and more focused on broader affect processesmay be more useful.

A process orientation requires better grasp of state-trait distinction.

Features of work environmentslikely to produce particular moods and emotions.

A worker’s perceptions of work environmentare not necessarily equivalent to more objective (independent) assessments of work events and conditions.

Self-reports may not adequately tap the constructs of experienced moods and emotions.

Affect at the work group level as a meaningful construct (Bartel&Saavedra, 2000)

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