Brokering Orientations and Social Capital: Influencing Others’ Relationships Shapes Status and Trust
Forthcoming, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
120 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 1, 2019
Individuals often influence others’ relationships, for better or worse. We conceptualize social influence processes that impact others’ social networks as brokering, and advance a multifaceted model that explains how brokering behaviors can create, terminate, reinforce, and modify others’ network ties. To empirically study brokering, we introduce and validate the Brokering Orientations Scale (BOS), a multidimensional measure that captures individuals’ behavioral tendencies to act as intermediaries, conciliators, and dividers. Six studies (N=1,723) explored the psychometric properties of the BOS (Studies 1a-1c) and investigated the effects of distinct forms of brokering on brokers’ social capital (Studies 2-4). The intermediary, conciliatory and divisive brokering orientations related differently to extraversion, agreeableness, perspective-taking, moral identity and Machiavellianism, among other individual differences. The effects of brokering on social capital varied as a function of the brokering orientation and the aspect of social capital. Intermediary behavior garnered status; conciliatory behavior promoted trust and prestige; and divisive behavior fueled brokers’ perceived dominance. Overall, the current paper elucidates the concept of brokering orientations, introduces a novel measure of brokering orientations, and explains how brokering behavior shapes brokers’ social capital.
Keywords: Brokering Orientation Scale, scale development, social influence, social networks, group processes, status, prestige, dominance
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