The Effects of Social Network Centrality on Group Satisfaction
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT
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The purpose of this research was to identify how various social network centralities affect a persons satisfaction level. Simple degree centrality has been utilized to specify an individuals location in a network by measuring the number of direct links with other members in the organization Brass Burkhardt, 1992, 1993. This study examines how location in friendship, task, and avoidance networks affect an individuals satisfaction with the group. To determine the relationship between social network centrality and work group satisfaction, a longitudinal field study was conducted on 440 active duty enlisted military members in a leadership development training course. While most research has indicated a positive relationship between task or friendship network centrality and satisfaction Kilduff, Krachardt, 1993, other research suggests otherwise Brass, 1981. The results of this study are similarly inconclusive. Task centrality only predicted work group satisfaction in one of six time periods, however the relationship was negative. Similarly, friendship network centrality predicted satisfaction in two time period, with a negative relationship. Avoidance network centrality negatively predicted work group satisfaction in two periods. These inconsistent results suggest that the relationship between network position and attitudes such as satisfaction are dynamic. This paper proposes that researchers must not neglect the dynamic nature of social networks as well as the dynamic nature of attitudes, and how they interact to influence individuals within social networks.
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