Social network influences on employee responses to organizational withdrawals

Organization Management Journal , Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 15-35. https://doi.org/10.1108/OMJ-01-2018-0498

The University of Auckland Business School Research Paper Series

Posted: 18 Oct 2021

See all articles by Frank Siedlok

Frank Siedlok

University of Auckland Business School

Paul Hibbert

University of St Andrews

Fiona Whitehurst

Newcastle University Business School

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to develop a more detailed understanding of how embedding in different social networks relates to different types of action that individuals choose in the context of organizational closures, downsizing or relocations. To develop such insights, this paper focuses on three particular types of social networks, namely, intra-organizational; external professional and local community networks. These three types of networks have been frequently related to different types of action in the context of closures and relocations.

Design/methodology/approach
This is a conceptual paper. The authors develop the argument by integrating relevant recent literature on the salience related to embedding in different types of social networks, with a particular focus on responses to organizational closure or relocation.

Findings
The authors argue that at times of industrial decline and closure: embeddedness in intra-organizational networks can favor collective direct action; embeddedness in professional networks is likely to favor individual direct action and embeddedness in community networks can lead to individual indirect action. The authors then add nuance to the argument by considering a range of complicating factors that can constrain or enable the course (s) of action favored by particular combinations of network influences.

Originality/value
On a theoretical level, this paper adds to understandings of the role of network embeddedness in influencing individual and collective responses to such disruptive events; and direct or indirect forms of response. On a practical level, the authors contribute to understandings about how the employment landscape may evolve in regions affected by organizational demise, and how policymakers may study with or through network influences to develop more responsible downsizing approaches.

Full paper available at https://doi.org/10.1108/OMJ-01-2018-0498

Keywords: Social networks, employment, embeddedness, embedding, organizational demise, community

Suggested Citation

Siedlok, Frank and Hibbert, Paul and Whitehurst, Fiona, Social network influences on employee responses to organizational withdrawals (2020). Organization Management Journal , Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 15-35. https://doi.org/10.1108/OMJ-01-2018-0498, The University of Auckland Business School Research Paper Series, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3944489

Frank Siedlok (Contact Author)

University of Auckland Business School ( email )

12 Grafton Rd
Private Bag 92019
Auckland, 1010
New Zealand

Paul Hibbert

University of St Andrews

School of Management
The Gateway
St Andrews, Fife KY169RJ
United Kingdom

Fiona Whitehurst

Newcastle University Business School ( email )

5 Barrack Road
Devonshire Building
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, NE1 7RU
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.ncl.ac.uk/business-school/staff/profile/fionawhitehurst.html#background

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