Procure, persist, perish: communication tie dynamics in a disrupted task environment

  • Sean M. FitzhughEmail author
  • Arwen H. DeCostanza
Original Article


Within contexts of organizational task performance, managing one’s communication network requires a careful balance between the advantages and costs of communication ties. Searching for, establishing, and maintaining ties all require commitments of time and effort (Burt 1992; Steier and Greenwood 2000; Mariotti and Delbridge 2012; Ahuja 2000; Crawford and Lepine 2013; Whittaker et al. 2002). The costs of these ties manifest through sustainment of the relationship (e.g., telephone calls, attending meetings) and obligations of the relationship (e.g., favors, reciprocal commitment) (Boorman 1975; Degenne and Lebeaux 2005). However, the absence of ties may also entail costs associated with missed opportunities, assistance, or information provided by these ties. This dilemma has important implications for organizations. With finite availability of time and effort, humans have finite limits on the sizes of their contact networks (Krackhardt 1994). Accordingly, organizational...


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© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Research and Engineering DirectorateU.S. Army Research LaboratoryAberdeen Proving GroundUSA

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