Culture, Cognition, and Collaborative Networks in Organizations

Srivastava, S.B., M.R. Banaji. 2011. Culture, Cognition, and Collaborative Networks in Organizations. American Sociological Review 76(2) 207-233.

Posted: 17 Jul 2013 Last revised: 23 Jul 2015

See all articles by Sameer B. Srivastava

Sameer B. Srivastava

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Mahzarin R. Banaji

Harvard University - Department of Psychology; Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

Date Written: October 1, 2010

Abstract

This paper examines the interplay of culture, cognition, and social networks in organizations with norms that emphasize cross-boundary collaboration. In such settings, social desirability concerns can induce a disparity between how people view themselves in conscious (deliberative) and less conscious (automatic) cognition. These differences have implications for the resulting pattern of intra-organizational collaborative ties. Based on a laboratory study and field data from a biotechnology firm, the authors find that: (a) people consciously reported more positive views of themselves as collaborative actors than they appeared to hold in less conscious cognition; (b) less conscious collaborative-independent self-views were associated with the choice to enlist organizationally distant colleagues in collaboration; and (c) these self-views were also associated with a person’s likelihood of being successfully enlisted by organizationally distant colleagues (i.e., of supporting these colleagues in collaboration). By contrast, consciously reported collaborative-independent self-views were not associated with these choices. The study contributes to our understanding of how culture is internalized in individual cognition and how self-related cognition is linked to social structure through collaboration choices. It also demonstrates the limits of self-reports in settings with strong normative pressures and represents a novel integration of methods from cognitive psychology and network analysis.

Keywords: culture, cognition, social networks, organizations, collaboration, boundary-spanning, dual-process models, exponential random graph models, Implicit Association Test

Suggested Citation

Srivastava, Sameer B. and Banaji, Mahzarin R., Culture, Cognition, and Collaborative Networks in Organizations (October 1, 2010). Srivastava, S.B., M.R. Banaji. 2011. Culture, Cognition, and Collaborative Networks in Organizations. American Sociological Review 76(2) 207-233., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2294718

Sameer B. Srivastava (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-643-5922 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/srivastava

Mahzarin R. Banaji

Harvard University - Department of Psychology ( email )

33 Kirkland St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )

124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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