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Structural Embeddedness of Accessed Networks and Innovation at Work

Networks, Work and Inequality

ISBN: 978-1-78190-539-5, eISBN: 978-1-78190-540-1

Publication date: 8 April 2013


Purpose – Structural embeddedness of social networks within and beyond work organizations has shown its association with the innovation at work for employees from literature. Structural embeddedness includes three dimensions: the diversity, density, and trust of accessed networks. This chapter attempts to compare how structural embeddedness mechanizes on innovation at work differently for employees in hi-tech and non-hi-tech sectors.Methodology/approach – We analyzed 1,817 cases of currently employed respondents from the 2005 Taiwan national survey on social capital. All the indicators on structural embeddedness are operationalized from position-generated networks, and we performed regression models for total, hi-tech, and non-hi-tech samples.Findings – Except the universal effects of diversity on innovation at work for employees in both hi-tech and non-hi-tech sectors, density and trust of accessed networks significantly affect innovation at work only for employees in non-hi-tech sectors. There is a slight interaction effect between trust and density on innovation at workplaces. Those individuals with high-degree trust in accessed networks tend to have a lower degree of innovation while their network density is high. It implies that complementary networks seem to be more useful for applying new ideas at the workplace for non-hi-tech workers.Originality/value of chapter – This chapter contributes to the literature by presenting the importance of structural embeddedness of accessed social networks for innovation at work.



Hsung, R.-M., Lin, Y.-J. and Lu, K.-W. (2013), "Structural Embeddedness of Accessed Networks and Innovation at Work", Mcdonald, S. (Ed.) Networks, Work and Inequality (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 24), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 295-322.



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