Moving in Social Circles – Social Circle Membership and Performance Implications

41 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2006

See all articles by Willem Verbeke

Willem Verbeke

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Stefan Wuyts

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Date Written: August 22, 2006

Abstract

We investigate social circles in intra-firm settings. First, we argue that social circles are inhabited by individuals whose attitudes display fit with the objectives of the social circle rather than more self-centered instrumentalism or calculation. For a test of this hypothesis, we distinguish between friendship circles and strategy-influence circles. We find that friendship circle membership is positively associated with attitudes that display empathic concern but negatively with more instrumental attitudes, whereas strategy-influence circle membership is positively associated with attitudes that display long-term ambition but negatively with attitudes that display short-term calculation. Second, we argue and find that membership of social circles affects individual performance (social circles foster the exchange of information, for which we find clear evidence), albeit not necessarily in a linear fashion. Our new insights into social circle membership and performance implications can guide individuals in seeking access to such social circles and can aid management in understanding and perhaps influencing intra-firm knowledge flows.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Reciprocity, Social Networks

Suggested Citation

Verbeke, Willem and Wuyts, Stefan, Moving in Social Circles – Social Circle Membership and Performance Implications (August 22, 2006). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2006-041-MKT, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=925983

Willem Verbeke (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Stefan Wuyts

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) ( email )

Oude Markt 13
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant
Belgium
+32 16 325007 (Phone)
+32 16 324713 (Fax)

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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