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Work-team bonding and bridging social networks, team identity and performance effectiveness

Kaisa Henttonen (Department of Management and International Business, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland.)
Jan-Erik Johanson (School of Management, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland)
Minna Janhonen (Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 14 April 2014




The focus in this paper is on the extent to which bonding and bridging social relationships predict the performance effectiveness and attitudinal (identity) outcomes.


The research was survey-based, involving 76 work teams and a total of 499 employees in 48 organisations.


The analysis reveals a positive relationship between both bonding and bridging relationships and performance effectiveness and attitudinal outcomes. Team identity mediates the relationship between the team ' s social-network structure and its performance effectiveness.

Research limitations/implications

The research investigates the performance effectiveness and attitudinal outcomes of social networks simultaneously, which is rare, but for study-design reasons fails to investigate behavioural outcomes. More extensive data would reveal more about the possible interaction between bridging and bonding.

Practical implications

In order to improve performance effectiveness managerial attention should focus on building a team and social networks.


The research shows that team identity fully mediates the influence of bonding and bridging social relationships. This finding sheds light on the processes that mediate performance effectiveness, which in turn facilitate understanding of how team dynamics lead to differing performance levels. The results also reveal how the type of social network affects the creation of a team identity: individuals identify with the team through the social networks to which they belong both within it and outside. Thus, team identity matters given the evidence suggesting that those who identify more with their work teams perform more effectively.



Henttonen, K., Johanson, J.-E. and Janhonen, M. (2014), "Work-team bonding and bridging social networks, team identity and performance effectiveness", Personnel Review, Vol. 43 No. 3, pp. 330-349.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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