Networks in professional groups: a matter of connection or self-excile?
Publication typeJournal article with impact factor
JournalTeam Performance Management: An International Journal
Publication Begin page318
Publication End page332
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractPurpose - Integrating predictions of social exchange theory and implicit social cognition, this paper aims to investigate mechanisms of co-evolution between professional and personal support networks in a professional, non-hierarchical setting. Design/methodology/approach - The study covers simultaneously people's behaviours and their subjective interpretations of them in a cross-lagged network design in a group of 65 MBAstudents. Findings - Results show that people build on their professional support network to develop personal support relations. People who have a high status in the professional support network appear to be afraid to lose them by asking too many others for personal support and people with a low status in the professional support network seemalso be reluctant to ask many others for personal support. Practical implications - Although personal support is a key social mechanism facilitating individual well-being and organizational success, support in the workplace often remains limited to professional topics. This research shows why people hesitate to expand their networks in professional settings and to what extent their fears have a basis in reality. Originality/value - It goes beyond predictions of social exchange theory which inform most network evolution studies and tap into implicit social cognition predictions to expand the explanatory power of the hypotheses. The study's network analysis takes into account both behaviours and social perceptions. The sample is a non-hierarchical professional group which allows a more ecological observation of how hierarchies are born in social groups.
KeywordPeople Management & Leadership, Social Exchange, Hierarchy, Personal Support, Positive Identity, Professional Support
Knowledge Domain/IndustryPeople Management & Leadership