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Miguel Sousa Lobo
Associate Professor of Decision Sciences
Social Networks; Affect; Organizational Structure; Bayesian Statistics; ADEC
Casciaro T., Lobo M. S. (2015). Affective Primacy in Intraorganizational Task Networks Organization Science, 26(2), pp. 373-389.
To better understand the role of affect in organizational task-related networks, the authors developed a theory of affective primacy that identifies cognitive and motivational mechanisms through which the affective value of a social relationship (a feeling of positive affect from interactions with a colleague) operates as an antecedent of perceived instrumental value (a subjective evaluation of a relationship’s contribution to accomplishing assigned tasks).The authors tested this theory with full-network data collected over three years from employees in a small functional-form organization, which we analyzed with a methodology drawing from the social relations model of interpersonal perception and Bayesian models for social network analysis.The authors found that, over time, the affective value of social relationships influences both perceptions of instrumental value and the formation of task-related ties through multiple paths not accounted for by either perceived instrumental value or formal-structural requirements.The authors also show that the emergence of task-related networks rests primarily on high-activation positive emotions, such as excitement (a subjective state of feeling energized) rather than positive emotions with lower levels of activation, such as pleasantness (a subjective state of feeling gratified).The authors discuss implications of these findings for organizational theory and managerial practice.