The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesize research and theory on the definition, antecedents, outcomes, and mechanisms of networking in organizations.
Descriptions of networking are reviewed and an integrated definition of networking in organizations is presented. Approaches for measuring and studying networking are considered and the similarities and differences of networking with related constructs are discussed. A theoretical model of the antecedents and outcomes of networking is presented with the goal of integrating existing networking research. Mechanisms through which networking leads to individual and organizational outcomes are also considered.
Networking is defined as goal-directed behavior which occurs both inside and outside of an organization, focussed on creating, cultivating, and utilizing interpersonal relationships. The current model proposes that networking is influenced by a variety of individual, job, and organizational level factors and leads to increased visibility and power, job performance, organizational access to strategic information, and career success. Access to information and social capital are proposed as mechanisms that facilitate the effects of networking on outcomes.
Networking is held to be of great professional value for ambitious individuals and organizations. However, much of the research on networking has been spread across various disciplines. Consequentially, consensus on many important topics regarding networking remains notably elusive. This paper reviews and integrates existing research on networking in organizations and proposes directions for future study. A comprehensive definition and model of networking is presented and suggestions to researchers are provided.
Gibson, C., H. Hardy III, J. and Ronald Buckley, M. (2014), "Understanding the role of networking in organizations", Career Development International, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 146-161. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-09-2013-0111Download as .RIS
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