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The micro foundations of organizational social networks: A review and an agenda for future research


Tasselli, Stefano; Kilduff, Martin; Menges, Jochen (2015). The micro foundations of organizational social networks: A review and an agenda for future research. Journal of Management, 41(5):1361-1387.

Abstract

This paper focuses on an emergent debate about the microfoundations of organizational social networks. We consider three theoretical positions: an individual agency perspective suggesting that people, through their individual characteristics and cognitions, shape networks; a network patterning perspective suggesting that networks, through their structural configuration, form people; and a coevolution perspective suggesting that people, in their idiosyncrasies, and net-works, in their differentiated structures, coevolve. We conclude that individual attitudes, behav-iors, and outcomes cannot be fully understood without considering the structuring of organizational contexts in which people are embedded, and that social network structuring and change in organizations cannot be fully understood without considering the psychology of pur-posive individuals. To guide future research, we identify key questions from each of the three theoretical perspectives and, particularly, encourage more research on how individual actions and network structure coevolve in a dynamic process of reciprocal influence.

Abstract

This paper focuses on an emergent debate about the microfoundations of organizational social networks. We consider three theoretical positions: an individual agency perspective suggesting that people, through their individual characteristics and cognitions, shape networks; a network patterning perspective suggesting that networks, through their structural configuration, form people; and a coevolution perspective suggesting that people, in their idiosyncrasies, and net-works, in their differentiated structures, coevolve. We conclude that individual attitudes, behav-iors, and outcomes cannot be fully understood without considering the structuring of organizational contexts in which people are embedded, and that social network structuring and change in organizations cannot be fully understood without considering the psychology of pur-posive individuals. To guide future research, we identify key questions from each of the three theoretical perspectives and, particularly, encourage more research on how individual actions and network structure coevolve in a dynamic process of reciprocal influence.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Finance
Social Sciences & Humanities > Strategy and Management
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:16 Aug 2019 14:11
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 03:31
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0149-2063
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206315573996
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:17518

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