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It is two days before your performance appraisal. Your performance this quarter has been less than desirable. You came close to reaching your sales targets, but you did not meet them, and you are hoping to still get the merit pay raise to be determined as a result of your performance appraisal. You do not really like your manager, but you are hoping to advance in this company, and being on your manager’s good side may be a good idea both for your current performance appraisal and for your future in this company.
Map Your Social NetworkAdapted from information in Carpenter, M.A., & Sanders, W.M. (2007). Strategic Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education; Wasserman, S., & Faust, K. (1994). Social network analysis: Methods and applications. NY: Cambridge University Press; Watt, D.J. (2003). Six degrees: The science of the connected age. NY: W.W. Norton & Company Ltd.
Let’s see how your social network adds up:
Calculating Network Size
The number of people you listed in your own network for this situationN = _____
Calculating Network Density
It is important to understand what the maximum density of your network is. This refers to how dense it would be if everyone in your network knew each other.(N * (N − 1)/2 = M) or ( _____ * ( _____ − 1)/2 = M) M = _____
Total number of checkmarks in Figure 13.15, which represents number of relationships among people in your network.C = _____
Density of your network (will range between 0 and 1)C / M = D _____/_____= D D = _____
N = number of people in your network. The more people in your network, the greater the amount of information and possibly access to greater resources you have. We stopped at 15 people but many individuals have more people in their network than 15.
The strength of your network is also important. You can talk about this in terms of percentages of your relationships. What percentage are very tightly connected? Close? Somewhat connected? Or barely connected?
For most people, it would be hard to manage a huge network where all the ties are very close, just by virtue of the amount of time and energy it takes to satisfy the conditions for closeness.
Identifying Central Connectors
Count how many names you circled in step 4. Each of these individuals plays a special role in your network as they are central connectors who serve to expand your network by introducing you to new people. If you are also a central connector, this can be a benefit to assessing information as long as you are able to keep the network from distracting you from your work.
Network density is important. When a person’s network density is 1.0 that indicates that everyone in the network knows everyone else. Whether this is good or bad depends on a few things. For example, if everyone in your network has additional networks they belong to as well, you would be playing a central role in their networks and you would be a boundary spanner. But, if they also have high network density, the odds are that no new information is getting introduced into your group. You are basically a closed loop in which the same people interact with one another, and it is challenging to assess changes in the environment or to be innovative.
Social networks change over time depending on your tenure in an industry or company. The longer you have been in a given industry, the more likely it is that you will see your network size begin to shrink and become more dense.
Consider factors relating to power and influence and how you might go about strengthening and increasing the size of your network.
What are the pros and cons of doing so?
In a group, analyze the following individuals in terms of their potential power bases. The first step is to discuss which types of power a person with the job listed on the left-hand column could have. If you can think of an example of them having a type of power, write the example in that column.
|Legitimate power||Reward power||Coercive power||Information power||Referent power|
|Customer service representative|