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Research seminar with PhD Fellow Stefano Tasselli
June 28, 2013 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Stefano Tasselli is a doctoral candidate in Management Science at Cambridge Judge Business School. His research interests are social networks in organizations, organization and management theory, and network structure and individual agency.
Social networks can be considered patterns in the mind (and subject to cognitive biases) or social networks can be considered patterns in the world (and important for leadership and careers). But how are these two patterns – the cognitive and the actual- related? We bring together the two strands of network research in showing that cognitive biases generated by human motivations – in terms of status striving and communal striving – predict how the actual network changes. Using longitudinal data on advice relations from a hospital department in the North of Italy, we show that people who strive to get ahead distort perceptions so as to conform to expectations of their own importance; by contrast, people who strive to get along with others distort perceptions of social relations so as to conform to expectations of their own sociability. Further, we show that distorted perceptions may affect actual networking patterns: people striving for status are more likely to become brokers, whereas people striving for social acceptance tend to become more central in the actual network through the indirect effects of distorted perceptions of advice interactions. We suggest therefore that cognitions in the minds of individuals can result in actual outcomes.