IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Why Weak Ties' Help and Strong Ties' Don't: Reconsidering Why Tie Strength Matters

  • Smith, Sandra Susan
Registered author(s):

    If jobholders are more motivated to help jobseekers to whom they are strongly tied rather than those to whom they are weakly tied, why do jobholders so often help acquaintances and strangers instead of kin and friends? The strength-of-weak-ties theory holds that weak ties are more likely to be conduits for information and influence that best leads to jobs. Recent research, however, calls into question the theory’s key assumption that this is because strongties cannot act as bridges (they can). Drawing from in-depth interviews with 146 blue- and white-collar workers at a large public sector employer, in this paper I offer an alternative explanation for why weak ties matter, one rooted in cognitive and affective processes: Jobholders often know too much about their close associates’ flaws and so assess the risks of making a bad match as high. They also worry more about the implications of close associates’ failures for their own reputations.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/15p921r5.pdf;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt15p921r5.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: 01 Jul 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt15p921r5
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 2521 Channing Way # 5555, Berkeley, CA 94720-5555
    Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/iir_iirwps/

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
    2. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
    4. Knetsch, Jack L, 1989. "The Endowment Effect and Evidence of Nonreversible Indifference Curves," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1277-84, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt15p921r5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.