Social Networks: The Structure of Relationships1

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


While relationships are the basic building blocks of social network analysis, it is the focus on the pattern or structure of relationships that has provided social network researchers with a distinctive niche (Kildu & Brass, 2010). e idea of a network implies more than one link and the added value of the network perspective is that it goes beyond the dyad and provides a way of considering the structural arrangement of many nodes. For example, while the dyadic relationships between managers and subordinates have long been the focus of leadership studies, Sparrowe and Liden (2005) focused on the network beyond the dyad and found a threeway interaction between leader-member exchange relationships (LMX), supervisor centrality, and the overlap between supervisor and subordinate networks. Subordinates beneted from trusting LMX relationships with central supervisors who shared their network connections (sponsorship). When leaders were low in centrality, sharing ties in their trust network was detrimental. e extended focus is on the relationships among the dyadic relationships (i.e., the network). e network approach can shed light on relevant managerial issues such as leadership, employee retention, and performance through an analysis of relationships such as collaborative practices linking members of a work department, trust bonds among employees and supervisors, exchanges between employees and customers, and many others (see Brass, 2011, and Brass, Galaskiewicz, Greve, & Tsai, 2004 for reviews of research ndings). We organize our chapter to address basic denitions of network analysis, key research issues such as data organization, collection and analysis, and implications of research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPersonal Relationships
Subtitle of host publicationThe Effect on Employee Attitudes, Behavior, and Well-being
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781136336621
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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