Who are employees' social referents? Using a network perspective to determine referent others

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Abstract

A social network perspective was used to determine whom brokerage firm employees selected as social referents. In particular, this study focused on cohesive actors (friends) and structurally equivalent actors (individuals occupying the same position in a network) as sources of social information. Results on the social networks of brokers, sales assistants, and operations employees (support staff) indicate distinct differences in interaction patterns, information seeking, and social comparison processes across the three job categories. Overall, the results suggest that employees rely on structurally equivalent referents for job-related information and on cohesive referents for general organizational information and as social comparison referents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-268
Number of pages20
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1998

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