Where do intra-organizational advice relations come from? The role of informal status and social capital in social exchange

Filip Agneessens*, Rafael Wittek

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

    83 Citaten (Scopus)
    56 Downloads (Pure)


    Social status and social capital frameworks are used to derive competing hypotheses about the emergence and structure of advice relations in organizations. Although both approaches build on a social exchange framework, they differ in their behavioral micro-foundations. From a status perspective, advice giving is a means to generate prestige, whereas asking advice decreases one's relative standing. At a structural level these motivations are expected to result in an overrepresentation of non-reciprocal dyads and non-cyclical triadic structures in the advice network, as well as in active advice seekers being unlikely to be approached for advice, especially by active advice givers. From a social capital perspective, advice seeking creates obligations for the advice seeker. At the structural level, this results in an overrepresentation of reciprocal dyads and cyclical triads, and active advice seekers to be unpopular as targets of advice seeking, especially for active advice givers. Analyses of four waves of a longitudinal sociometric study of 57 employees of a Dutch Housing Corporation provide partial support for both approaches. In line with the social capital perspective, we find reciprocal advice relations to be overrepresented at the dyad level. Results at the triad level support the social status arguments, according to which high status individuals will avoid asking advice from low status individuals. The implications for macro-structural properties of intra-organizational advice network are discussed. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)333-345
    Aantal pagina's13
    TijdschriftSocial Networks
    Nummer van het tijdschrift3
    StatusPublished - jul-2012

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