Task complexity and shared value orientation: exploring the moderators of a social dilemma in team social networks


Industrial and Corporate Change

octobre 2016, vol. 25, n°5, pp.739-756

Mots clés : Z13 - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification M10 - General L14 - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation; Networks

Although it is often in the interest of individuals to implement networking strategies that erode their team’s social capital, it is unclear under what conditions such a social dilemma is more or less likely to occur. We focus on brokerage and closure as two dimensions of social structure where tension arises between individual networking strategies and team performance. Adopting a multilevel perspective, and focusing on closed teams with the presence of a clear leader, we analyze two complementary moderators of this social dilemma that are fundamental to the existence of teams: the task complexity facing the team under consideration, and the individualist versus collectivist shared value orientation of its members. We find that an increase in either of these makes the social dilemma more likely to occur. Counterintuitive conclusions pertaining to these moderators are discussed