Network Churn: The Effects of Self-Monitoring Personality on Brokerage Dynamics

Z. Sasovova, A. Mehra, S.P. Borgatti, M.C. Schippers

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Abstract

The apparent stability of social network structures may mask considerable change and adjustment in the ties that make up the structures. In this study, we theorize and test-using longitudinal data on friendship relations from a radiology department located in the Netherlands-the idea that the characteristics of this "network churn" and the resultant brokerage dynamics are traceable to individual differences in self-monitoring personality. High self-monitors were more likely than low self-monitors to attract new friends and to occupy new bridging positions over time. In comparison to low self-monitors, the new friends that high self-monitors attracted tended to be relative strangers, in the sense that they were unconnected with previous friends, came from different functions, and more efficiently increased the number of structural holes in the resultant network. Our study suggests that dispositional forces help shape the dynamic structuring of networks: individuals help (re)create the social network structures they inhabit. © 2010 by Johnson Graduate School.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-670
JournalAdministrative Science Quarterly
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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