Article | Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings | 2009

Compelled to Help: Effects of Direct and Indirect Exchange on Perceived Obligation in Professional Networks

by Roy Y.J. Chua, Billian Sullivan and Michael W. Morris

Abstract

This research examines felt obligation to help others in employees' and managers' professional networks using a social exchange perspective. We hypothesize that obligation toward others would follow the norms of both direct and indirect reciprocity. Direct reciprocity predicts that obligation toward network members increases to the extent that one receives resources directly from others. In the case of socio-emotional resources, such as friendship and mentorship, this obligation is mediated by affective closeness. Indirect reciprocity predicts that obligation is felt toward others simply as a function of their inclusion in one's network, implying that obligation increases with the others' degree of embeddedness in the network. Results from two network surveys supported these hypotheses.

Keywords: Perspective; Conflict of Interests; Research; Surveys; Networks; Forecasting and Prediction; Social Issues;

Citation:

Chua, Roy Y.J., Billian Sullivan, and Michael W. Morris. "Compelled to Help: Effects of Direct and Indirect Exchange on Perceived Obligation in Professional Networks." Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings (2009).