Social Exchange Theory, Exchange Resources, and Interpersonal Relationships: A Modest Resolution of Theoretical Difficulties

  • Marie S. Mitchell
  • Russell S. Cropanzano
  • David M. Quisenberry

Abstract

Taking a more empirical approach to theory development, in this chapter, Marie Mitchell, Russel Cropanzano, and David Quisenberry raise the question of what social exchange theory has contributed to organizational research. Scholars generally agree on the reciprocal nature of exchange patterns, but theories of social exchange differ in terms of their explanation of the resources exchanged and how those resources are perceived by exchange partners. Contemporary models of social exchange incorporate interpersonal relationships into their exchange theories, but these models differ in how they conceptualize relational patterns. Three broad conceptual paradigms are distinguished: models that emphasize relationship formation, attributes of the relationship as resources to be exchanged, and relationships as a social context that changes the rules by which exchanges are conducted. The authors integrate strengths of each approach to provide a research agenda that can extend social exchange theorizing by providing a better description of what is exchanged and how meaning is derived in exchange relations.

References

  1. Adams, J. S. (1965). Inequity in social exchange. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 267–299). New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  2. Ballinger, G. A., & Rockmann, K. W. (2010). Chutes ­versus ladders: Anchoring events and punctuated-equilibrium perspective on social exchange relationships. Academy of Management Review, 35, 373–391.Google Scholar
  3. Berscheid, E., & Walster, E. H. (1975). Interpersonal attraction (2nd ed.). Reading: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  4. Bishop, J. W., & Scott, K. D. (2000). An examination of organizational and team commitment in a self-directed team environment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85, 439–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bishop, J. W., Scott, K. D., & Burroughs, S. M. (2000). Support, commitment, and employee outcomes in a team environment. Journal of Management, 26, 1113–1132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bishop, J. W., Scott, K. D., Goldsby, M. G., & Cropanzano, R. (2003). A construct validity study of commitment and perceived support variables. Group and Organization Management, 30, 153–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blau, P. M. (1964). Exchange and power in social life. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  8. Bowling, N. A., Beehr, T. A., & Swader, W. M. (2005). Giving and receiving social support at work: The roles of personality and reciprocity. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 67, 476–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Butler, J. K. (1991). Toward understanding and measuring conditions of trust: Evolution of conditions of trust inventory. Journal of Management, 17, 643–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen, C. C. (1995). New trends in rewards allocation preferences: A Sino-U.S. comparison. Academy of Management Journal, 38, 408–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clark, M. S. (1984). A distinction between two types of relationships and its implications for development. In J. C. Masters & K. Yarkin-Levin (Eds.), Boundary areas in social and developmental psychology. New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  12. Clark, M. S. (1986). Evidence for the effectiveness of manipulations of communal and exchange relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 12, 414–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clark, M. S., & Mills, J. (1979). Interpersonal attraction in exchange and communal relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 12–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Clark, M. S., & Mills, J. (1993). The difference between communal and exchange relationships: What it is and is not. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 684–691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Clark, M. S., Mills, J., & Corcoran, D. (1989). Keeping track of need and inputs of friends and strangers. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 15, 533–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Clark, M. S., Mills, J., & Power, M. C. (1986). Keeping track of needs in communal and exchange relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 333–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Clark, M. S., & Pataki, S. P. (1995). Interpersonal processes influencing attraction and relationships. In A. Tesser (Ed.), Advanced social psychology (pp. 282–331). Boston: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  18. Colbert, A. E., Mount, M. K., Harter, J. K., Witt, L. A., & Barrick, M. R. (2004). Interactive effects of personality and perceptions of work situation on workplace deviance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 599–609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cropanzano, R., & Ambrose, M. L. (2001). Procedural and distributive justice are more similar than you think: A monistic perspective and a research agenda. In J. Greenberg & R. Cropanzano (Eds.), Advances in organizational justice (pp. 119–151). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Cropanzano, R., & Mitchell, M. S. (2005). Social exchange theory: An interdisciplinary review. Journal of Management, 31, 874–900.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Cropanzano, R., Prehar, C. A., & Chen, P. Y. (2002). Using social exchange theory to distinguish procedural from interactional justice. Group and Organizational Management, 27, 324–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Cropanzano, R., & Rupp, D. E. (2008). Social exchange theory and organizational justice: Job performance, citizenship behaviors, multiple foci, and a historical integration of two literatures. In S. W. Gilliland, D. P. Skarlicki, & D. D. Steiner (Eds.), Research in social issues in management: Justice, morality, and social responsibility (pp. 63–99). Greenwich: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  23. Cropanzano, R., Rupp, D. E., Mohler, C. J., & Schminke, M. (2001). Three roads to organizational justice. In J. Ferris (Ed.), Research in personnel and human resources management (Vol. 20, pp. 1–113). Greenwich: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  24. Cropanzano, R., & Schminke, M. (2001). Using social justice to build effective work groups. In M. Turner (Ed.), Groups at work: Advances in theory and research (pp. 143–171). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  25. Cropanzano, R., Stein, J., & Goldman, B. M. (2007). Self-interest. In E. H. Kessler & J. R. Bailey (Eds.), Handbook of organizational and managerial wisdom (pp. 181–221). Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Deutsch, M. (1973). The resolution of conflict. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Deutsch, M., & Solomon, L. (1959). Reactions to evaluations by others as influenced by self-evaluations. Sociometry, 22, 93–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Dirks, K. T., & Skarlicki, D. P. (2009). The relationship between being perceived as trustworthy by coworkers and individual performance. Journal of Management, 35, 136–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Eisenberger, R., Huntington, R., Hutchison, S., & Sowa, D. (1986). Perceived organizational support. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 500–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ekeh, P. P. (1974). Social exchange theory: The two traditions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Emerson, R. M. (1976). Social exchange theory. Annual Review of Sociology, 2, 335–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Fiske, A. P. (1991). Structures of social life: The four elementary forms of human relations. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  33. Fiske, A. P. (1992). The four elementary forms of sociality: Framework for a unified theory of social relations. Psychological Review, 99, 689–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Foa, U. G. (1971). Interpersonal and economic resources. Science, 171, 345–351.Google Scholar
  35. Foa, U. G., & Foa, E. B. (1974). Societal structures of the mind. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas.Google Scholar
  36. Foa, U. G., & Foa, E. B. (1980). Resource theory: Interpersonal behavior as exchange. In K. J. Gergen, M. S. Greenberg, & R. H. Willis (Eds.), Social exchange: Advances in theory and research. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  37. Folger, R., & Cropanzano, R. (2001). Fairness theory: Justice as accountability. In J. Greenberg & R. Cropanzano (Eds.), Advances in organizational justice (pp. 1–55). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Fulk, J., Brief, A. P., & Barr, S. H. (1985). Trust-in-supervisor and perceived fairness and accuracy of performance evaluations. Journal of Business Research, 13, 299–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Gergen, K. J. (1980). Social exchange theory: The transient and the enduring. In K. J. Gergen, M. Greenberg, & R. Wills (Eds.), Social exchange: Advances in theory and research (pp. 261–280). New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Gouldner, A. W. (1960). The norm of reciprocity: A preliminary statement. American Sociological Review, 25, 161–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hansen, M. (1999). The search-transfer problem: The role of weak ties in sharing knowledge across organization subunits. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44, 82–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Harris, K. J., Kacmar, K. M., & Zivnuska, S. (2007). An investigation of abusive supervision as a predictor of performance and the meaning of work as a moderator of the relationship. Leadership Quarterly, 18, 252–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Harvey, P., Stoner, J., Hochwarter, W., & Kacmar, C. (2007). Coping with abusive supervision: The neutralizing effects of ingratiation and positive affect on negative employee outcomes. Leadership Quarterly, 18, 265–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Haslam, N., & Fiske, A. P. (1999). Relational model theory: A confirmative factor analysis. Personal Relationships, 6, 241–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hollander, E. P. (1958). Conformity, status, and idiosyncrasy credit. Psychological Review, 65, 117–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Hollander, E. P. (1960). Competence and conformity in the acceptance of influence. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 61, 361–365.Google Scholar
  47. Hollander, E. P. (1961). Some effects of perceived status on response to innovative behavior. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63, 247–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Homans, G. C. (1958). Social behavior as exchange. American Journal of Sociology, 63, 597–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Homans, G. C. (1961). Social behavior: Its elementary forms. New York: Harcourt Brace.Google Scholar
  50. Homans, G. C. (1974). Social behavior: Its elementary forms. (rev. ed.). New York: Harcourt.Google Scholar
  51. Korsgaard, M. A., Meglino, B. M., Lester, S. W., & Jeong, S. S. (2010). Paying you back or paying me forward: Understanding rewarded and unrewarded organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(2), 277–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lambert, N. M., Clark, M. S., Durtschi, J., Fincham, F. D., & Graham, S. M. (2010). Benefits of expressing gratitude to a partner changes one’s view of the relationship. Psychological Science, 21, 574–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Lawler, E. J. (2001). An affect theory of social exchange. American Journal of Sociology, 107, 321–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lawler, E. J., & Yoon, J. (1993). Power and the emergence of commitment behavior in negotiated exchange. American Sociological Review, 58, 465–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lawler, E. J., & Yoon, J. (1996). Commitment in exchange relations: Test of a theory of relational cohesion. American Sociological Review, 61, 89–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lawler, E. J., & Yoon, J. (1997). Structural power and emotional processes in negotiation: A social exchange approach. In R. M. Kramer & D. M. Messick (Eds.), Negotiation as a social processes (pp. 143–165). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  57. Lawler, E. J., Yoon, J., Baker, M. R., & Large, M. D. (1999). Mutual dependence and gift giving in exchange relations. In B. Markovsky, J. O’Brien, & K. Heimer (Eds.), Advances in group processes (Vol. 12, pp. 271–298). Greenwich: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  58. Lévi-Strauss, C. (1949). Les structures élémentaires de la parenté. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  59. Lévi-Strauss, C. (1957). The principle of reciprocity. In L. A. Coser & B. Rosenberg (Eds.), Sociological theory: A book of readings (pp. 84–94). New York: The Macmillan Press.Google Scholar
  60. Lévi-Strauss, C. (1969). The elementary structures of kinship. Boston: Beacon.Google Scholar
  61. Lewicki, R. J., & Bunker, B. B. (1995). Trust in relationships: A model of development and decline. In B. B. Bunker, J. Z. Rubin, & Associates (Eds.), Conflict, cooperation and justice: Essays inspired by the work of Morton Deutsch (pp. 133–173). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  62. Lewicki, R. J., & Bunker, B. B. (1996). Developing and maintaining trust in work relationships. In R. Kramer & T. R. Tyler (Eds.), Trust in organizations: Frontiers of theory and research (pp. 114–139). Thousand Oaks: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Lewicki, R. J., Tomlinson, E. C., & Gillespie, N. (2006). Models of interpersonal trust development: Theoretical approaches, empirical evidence, and future directions. Journal of Management, 32, 991–1022.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Liao, H., Joshi, A., & Chuang, A. (2004). Sticking out like a sore thumb: Employee dissimilarity and deviance at work. Personnel Psychology, 57, 969–1000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Lind, E. A., & Tyler, T. R. (1988). The social psychology of procedural justice. New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Malinowski, B. (1922). Argonauts of the western pacific: An account of native enterprise and adventure in the archipelagoes of Melanesian New Guinea. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  67. Malinowski, B. (1932). Crime and custom in savage society. London: Paul, Trench, Trubner.Google Scholar
  68. Mansour-Cole, D. M., & Scott, S. G. (1998). Hearing it through the grapevine: The influence of source, leader-member relations, and legitimacy on survivors’ fairness perceptions. Personnel Psychology, 51, 25–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Martin, J., & Harder, J. W. (1994). Bread and roses: Justice and the distribution of financial and socioemotional rewards in organizations. Social Justice Research, 7, 241–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Masterson, S. S., Lewis, K., Goldman, B. M., & Taylor, M. S. (2000). Integrating justice and social exchange: The differing effects of fair procedures and treatment on work relationships. Academy of Management Journal, 43, 738–748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Mauss, M. (1925). The gift: Forms and functions of exchange in archaic societies. New York: Norton Library.Google Scholar
  72. Mauss, M. (1967). The gift: Forms and functions of exchange in archaic societies. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  73. Mayer, R. C., Davis, J. H., & Schoorman, F. D. (1995). An integrative model of organizational trust. Academy of Management Review, 20, 709–734.Google Scholar
  74. Meeker, B. F. (1971). Decisions and exchange. American Sociological Review, 36, 485–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Mikula, G., Athenstaedt, U., Heschgl, S., & Heimgartner, A. (1998). Does it only depend on the point of view? Perspective-related differences in justice evaluations of negative incidents in personal relationships. European Journal of Social Psychology, 28, 931–962.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Mills, J., & Clark, M. S. (1982). Communal and exchange relationships. Review of Personality and Social Psychology, 3, 121–144.Google Scholar
  77. Mills, J., Clark, M. S., Ford, T. E., & Johnson, M. (2004). Measurement of communal strength. Personal Relationships, 11, 213–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Mitchell, M. S., & Ambrose, M. L. (2007). Abusive supervision and workplace deviance and the moderating effects of negative reciprocity beliefs. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 1159–1168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Molm, L. D. (1994). Dependence and risk: Transforming the structure of social exchange. Social Psychology Quarterly, 57, 163–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Molm, L. D. (2003). Theoretical comparisons of forms of exchange. Sociological Theory, 21, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Molm, L. D., Peterson, G., & Takahashi, N. (2000a). Power in negotiated and reciprocal exchange. American Sociological Review, 64, 876–890.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Molm, L. D., Takahashi, N., & Peterson, G. (2000b). Risk and trust in social exchange: An experimental test of a classical proposition. American Journal of Sociology, 105, 1396–1427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Molm, L. D., Takahashi, N., & Peterson, G. (2003). In the eye of the beholder: Procedural justice in social exchange. American Sociological Review, 68, 128–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Nelson, R. (1989). The strength of strong ties: Social networks and intergroup conflict in organizations. Academy of Management Journal, 32, 377–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Organ, D. W. (1988). Organizational citizenship behavior: The good soldier syndrome. Lexington: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  86. Organ, D. W. (1990). The motivational basis of organizational citizenship behavior. Research in Organizational Behavior, 12, 43–72.Google Scholar
  87. Organ, D. W., & Konovsky, M. (1989). Cognitive versus affective determinants of organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74, 157–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Porter, L. W., Steers, R. M., Mowday, R. T., & Boulian, P. V. (1974). Organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and turnover among psychiatric technicians. Journal of Applied Psychology, 59, 603–609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Price, M. E. (2006). Monitoring, reputation and “greenbeard” reciprocity in a Shuar work team. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27, 201–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Rosenfield, D., Folger, R., & Adelman, H. (1980). When rewards reflect competence: A qualification of the overjustification effect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 368–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Rousseau, D. M. (1995). Psychological contracts in organizations: Understanding written and unwritten agreements. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  92. Rousseau, D. M., Sitkin, S. B., Burt, R. S., & Camerer, C. (1998). Not so different after all: A cross-discipline view of trust. Academy of Management Review, 23, 393–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Sahlins, M. (1972). Stone age economics. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  94. Settoon, R. P., Bennett, N., & Liden, R. C. (1996). Social exchange in organizations: Perceived organizational support, leader-member exchange, and employee reciprocity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81, 219–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Shapiro, D., Sheppard, B. H., & Cheraskin, L. (1992). Business on a handshake. Negotiation Journal, 8, 365–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Sluss, D. M., Klimchak, M., & Holmes, J. J. (2008). Perceived organizational support as a mediator between relational exchange and organizational identification. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 73, 457–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Sternberg, R. J. (1985). The triangle of love: Intimacy, passion, commitment. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  98. Tepper, B. J. (2000). Consequences of abusive supervision. Academy of Management Journal, 43, 178–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Tepper, B. J., Duffy, M. K., Hoobler, J. M., & Ensley, M. D. (2004). Moderators of the relationship between coworkers’ organizational citizenship behavior and fellow employees’ attitudes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 455–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Thau, S., Bennett, R. J., Mitchell, M. S., & Marrs, M. B. (2009). How management style moderates the relationship between abusive supervision and workplace deviance: An uncertainty management theory perspective. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 108, 79–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Thau, S., & Mitchell, M. S. (2010). Self-gain or self-regulation impairment? Tests of competing explanations of the supervisor abuse and employee deviance relationship through perceptions of distributive justice. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 1009–1031.Google Scholar
  102. Thibault, J. W., & Kelley, H. H. (1959). The social psychology of groups. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  103. Tyler, T. R., & Blader, S. L. (2001). Identity and cooperative behavior in groups: Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 4, 207–226.Google Scholar
  104. Tyler, T. R., & Lind, E. A. (1990). Intrinsic versus community-based justice models: When does group membership matter? Journal of Social Issues, 46, 83–94.Google Scholar
  105. Uhl-Bien, M., & Maslyn, J. M. (2003). Reciprocity in manager-subordinate relationships: Components, configurations, and outcomes. Journal of Manage­ment, 29, 511–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  106. Walster, E. (1965). The effect of self-esteem on romantic liking. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1, 184–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. Wayne, S. J., Shore, L. M., & Liden, R. C. (1997). Perceived organizational support and leader-­mem­ber exchange: A social exchange perspective. Aca­demy of Management Journal, 40, 82–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  108. Wright, R. (1994). The moral animal: The new science of evolutionary psychology. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  109. Zellars, K. L., Tepper, B. J., & Duffy, M. K. (2002). Abusive supervision and subordinates’ organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 1068–1076.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie S. Mitchell
    • 1
  • Russell S. Cropanzano
    • 2
  • David M. Quisenberry
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ManagementTerry College of Business, University of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Leeds School of BusinessUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA
  3. 3.Army Management Staff CollegeArmy Civilian UniversityFort LeavenworthUSA

Personalised recommendations