An Introduction to Managing Networks
Chapter 3: Sociocentric Perspectives with Applications to Human Resources
3 Sociocentric perspectives with applications to human resources In this chapter we examine how a company can tap into the social capital in the informal networks formed by employees’ social ties and use that social capital to further organizational goals. We consider first the case where a company is filling vacancies by promoting from within, known as internal staffing. Then we’ll look at how a company can use employees’ extraorganizational social networks to more effectively hire new employees from outside the organization. INTRAORGANIZATIONAL SOCIAL CAPITAL 3.1 Filling vacancies from within Marsden and Gorman (1999) are concerned with the nature and determinants of internal staffing procedures that draw on social capital versus more formal methods. Let’s first identify social capital methods and formal methods so we can contrast the advantages and disadvantages of each type. Then we’ll look at how a manager can determine which type of method to use in filling a vacancy, based on which is more likely to manifest its advantages. Social capital methods are those that utilize employees’ social connections to identify candidates to fill the vacant position. For our purpose here, we can identify social capital methods as either direct contacts or referrals. Direct contacts come from actual observation of a candidate at work, based on having an existing social tie. So they are persons either that you have had the opportunity to supervise or whose supervisor is in your social network, and so you have observed them in the course of your social interaction with...
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