Personal goal pursuit as an antecedent to social network structure

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Three studies using diverse methods examine the effects of goals on instrumental mindsets and social network activation. We hypothesize that individual advancement and interpersonal affiliation goals evoke distinct patterns of interpersonal perception and motivation, which lead to the activation of sparser and denser social networks, respectively. Study 1, an experiment, found that triggering individual advancement goals (vs. affiliation goals) within a workplace domain led to the activation of sparser networks. Study 2, an experiment, found evidence of an indirect pathway, through which individual advancement goals increased the tendency to view social network contacts in an instrumental fashion, which in turn predicted the activation of sparser networks. Study 3, a longitudinal field study, found that individuals entering a new social network with strong career goals (individual-advancement goals) reported sparser networks and more central network positions; some evidence suggested that these effects may extend beyond activated networks to mobilized networks.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shea, CT; Fitzsimons, GM

Published Date

  • November 1, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 137 /

Start / End Page

  • 45 - 57

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0749-5978

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.obhdp.2016.07.002

Citation Source

  • Scopus