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Work and Friendship Ties in Organizations: A Comparative Analysis of Relation Networks

James R. Lincoln and Jon Miller
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 24, No. 2 (Jun., 1979), pp. 181-199
DOI: 10.2307/2392493
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2392493
Page Count: 19
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Abstract

This study examines the effects of five attributes - authority, education, sex, race, and branch assignment - on the proximities among the members of five professional organizations in networks of instrumental and primary relations. Sex and race are found to have greater influence on primary ties than instrumental ties. While there is some evidence in two organizations that authority and education affect instrumental ties more than primary ties, the data as a whole favor the hypothesis that these two attributes, which are associated with position in the formal division of labor, give rise to both instrumental and primary ties. These attributes generally serve to place high status persons in central network positions. In one organization where these attributes prove to have little predictive power, we examine the effects on network form of a conflict which led to the disintegration of the organization shortly after it was surveyed. The factions into which the organization was divided are readily apparent in a spatial representation of the network. In conclusion we review the implications for organizational theory and research of the attribute analysis in conjunction with the case study findings.

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