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
Date Written: October 1, 2010
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: Suggested Citation