Network-building behavioral tendencies, range, and promotion speed

Andrew Shipilov, Giuseppe Labianca, Valentyn Kalnysh, Yuri Kalnysh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


We studied 459 Ukrainian civil servants to determine how career network-building behavioral tendencies relate to network range and promotion speed. We identify two main behavioral tendencies for initiating social relationships: (a) networking within formal structured groups organized around activities created specifically to encourage members to form personal bonds (structured foci) and (b) individually driven networking outside these structured foci. The study shows that individually driven networking is related to broader network range, while structured foci networking has an inverted-U relationship to network range. The optimal networking for range involves a moderate level of structural foci networking and high levels of individually driven networking. Broad network range is related to faster promotion speed to higher organizational levels. Extroverts have a tendency toward individually driven networking, while high Machiavellians have a tendency toward both individually driven and structured foci networking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-83
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Networks
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper greatly benefited from the comments of Dan Brass, Ron Burt, Jordi Comas, Martin Gargiulo, Kathleen McGinn, Ajay Mehra, Wenpin Tsai, seminar participants in the LINKS network group at the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics, Vrije University, and at Cornell University's ILR School. Funding for various stages of this project was provided by the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and INSEAD (R&D Committee and the Alumni Fund). We also thank Beth Stone, Kim Rahn, Kristina Jones and Patrick Okigbo for their assistance with coding and Iryna Evtikhova for her assistance in data collection. An earlier version of this paper won the Best Paper Award at the OMT Division at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA (August 2007).


  • Networking tendencies
  • Promotions
  • Range
  • Structured foci

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology


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