CONTINUITY OF ASSOCIATION, FREEDOM TO REWIRE AND THE DARK SIDE OF RECIPROCITY. MICRO-PROCESSES OF EFFORT RECIPROCATION AND PARTNER SELECTION AND MACRO-PROCESSES OF INTEGRATION AND SEGREGATION IN INTRA-ORGANIZATIONAL NETWORKS OF EXCHANGE.
Ferriani S., Mollona E.
Paper International Conference with referee
As the knowledge-content of production processes intensifies and firms require the joint effort of a number of individuals with very specific know-how, organizations increasingly play the role of integrators of individual efforts by molding the way in which employees interact. In this paper, we show that the features of intra-organizational networks of collaboration are emergent properties of employees’ individual choices of collaboration but firms may shape the networks by calibrating the features of interaction among co-workers. Experiments conducted with an agent-based computer model explore how firms may set different levels of continuity of association among co-workers and different degrees of freedom to rewire that the employees have when selecting co-workers. We explain how the organizational features that characterize the interaction among co-workers influence individual strategies of effort reciprocation and co-workers’ selection. We propose four idealtypes of organizations. The analysis of the idealtypes illuminates how the aggregate effort contributed to an organization by its employees is an epiphenomenon connected to the specific morphology of the structures of underpinning intra-organizational collaboration networks. The analysis suggests that different idealtypes are connected to network structures that differently combine integration of workers with originally different characteristics into same groups and segregation of workers into groups with homogenous characteristics.
EURAM2015 - European Academy of Management - Varsavia, 2015 (Best Paper Nominee)