The Tie Perspective in Organizational Research

Xiaobao Peng, Yijun Zheng


Last few years witness an explosion of interest in applying tie analysis to organizational contexts. The paper claims that it is the tie perspective that expands the world of observed phenomena from an autonomous view to a relational view for scholarly understanding organizational behavior and outcomes. We present an organizing framework based on four sorts of ties (embeddedness, strong tie and weak tie, managerial tie and alliance, and tie dynamics) and four theoretical mechanisms (resource access, trust, power, and signaling) to review the key findings in organizational ties literature. Following and expanding the framework, we point out the avenues of future research from the gaps in framework (dynamic tie, signaling mechanism), linkages across the boxes in framework (multiple ties, multiple mechanisms), and finally, extensions beyond the framework (dark side, asymmetric tie).

Keywords: Organization, Tie, Network, Organizational behavior, Organizational outcome

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1905 ISSN (Online)2222-2839

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