A Social Network Perspective on Organizational Psychology

Daniel J. Brass

in The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Psychology, Volume 1

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199928309
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 A Social Network Perspective on Organizational Psychology

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  • Psychology
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  • Social Psychology


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This paper applies a social network perspective to the study of organizational psychology. Complementing the traditional focus on individual attributes, the social network perspective focuses on the relationships among actors. The perspective assumes that actors (whether they be individuals, groups, or organizations) are embedded within a network of interrelationships with other actors. It is this intersection of relationships that defines an actor's position in the social structure, and provides opportunities and constraints on behavior. A brief introduction to social networks is provided, typical measures are described, and research focusing on the antecedents and consequences of networks is reviewed. The social network framework is applied to organizational behavior topics such as recruitment and selection, performance, power, justice, and leadership, with a focus on research results obtained and directions for future research.

Keywords: social networks; social network measures; organizational psychology; methodological issues; structural holes; social capital

Article.  21816 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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