The Seesaw of Organisational Social Capital Flows: Inside the "Black Box" of Social Exchange
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The purpose of this study is to develop deeper understanding of the informal contributions of employees to organisational success; more specifically, the exchange ‘mechanism’ by which resources accrue to organisations through the social relationships of their members. The second purpose is to explore the influence of organisational contextual factors on this exchange mechanism; more specifically, the influence – if any – of contingent employment practices.
Through the use of a qualitative research design, I have gained an in-depth understanding of the cognitive mechanism employed by organisational actors to arrive at a decision on whether or not to initiate social exchange, in order to facilitate the flow of organisational social capital.
Data was analysed using Dimensional Analysis method. This analysis draws on the theoretical perspectives of interpretivism and symbolic interactionism, both of which are underpinned by a social construction epistemology. This provides the necessary link for understanding the connections between macro- and micro-level social action of social exchange in organisational settings.
My findings identify a complex cognitive process employed by actors for the purpose of reaching a decision with respect to initiating social exchange in organisational settings. This process is termed Social Exchange Transaction Analysis. It is undertaken at the individual level and ultimately controls the flow of organisational social capital through a social network to the organisation. This complexity is a reflection of both the many dimensions of the phenomenon, and the interconnectedness and interactions between them. Social Exchange Transaction Analysis builds an ‘analytical’ picture of the potential social exchange transaction, to enable the organisational actor to arrive at a decision on whether or not to initiate social exchange – and thereby facilitate the flow of organisational social capital.
SubjectsOrganisational Social Capital
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