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Abstract

Purpose

This exposition explains how Elementary Theory works and how it has been developed over the last two-and-a-half decades. Both increased scope and heightened precision are covered.

Methodology/Approach

Theoretic methodology is explained. Using that method formal models are constructed analogous to empirical events. Those models predict events, design experiments, and guide applications in the field.

Findings

There is a widely held belief in sociology that theory becomes more vague and imprecise as its scope broadens. Whereas broader generalizations are more vague than narrower ones, this exposition shows that abstract theory becomes more precise as its scope broadens.

Research Limitations/Implications

Here implications and limitations are closely connected. Regarding implications, this exposition shows that scientific explanations and predictions are viable today in sociology but only when exact theory is employed. Regarding limitations, the theory and research included in this exposition make clear why the empiricist search for regularities that dominates sociological research is so very limited in its results.

Originality/Value of Chapter

This exposition demonstrates that theory is the method of all the sciences and in particular the science of sociology.

Details

Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-078-0

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Book part
Publication date: 26 July 2016

Natalia Ruiz-Junco

This chapter assesses the power focus in contemporary interactionist theory, and advances several premises about power based on recent research and theory. I first examine…

Abstract

This chapter assesses the power focus in contemporary interactionist theory, and advances several premises about power based on recent research and theory. I first examine the main assumptions of the view of power that emerged in the wake of the astructural bias debate, which became an implicit standard for assessments of power in the tradition. Next, I explore the criticisms of the astructural bias thesis and related conceptualization. My argument is that while the debate correctly spotlighted the power deficit of interactionism, it had theoretical implications that distracted us from the task of fully conceptualizing power. In the second part of this chapter, I examine recent interactionist work in order to build general premises that can advance interactionist theory of power. Based on this analysis, I elaborate four premises that interactionists can use, regardless of theoretical orientation. Drawing on examples from my ethnographic research, I illustrate how researchers can benefit from the use of these premises.

Details

The Astructural Bias Charge: Myth or Reality?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-036-7

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Book part
Publication date: 4 December 2009

Clayton D. Peoples

Power structure research examines core issues in the discipline of sociology; yet this important area of study is declining because of the conceptual, theoretical, and…

Abstract

Power structure research examines core issues in the discipline of sociology; yet this important area of study is declining because of the conceptual, theoretical, and methodological problems. In this paper, I address each of these problems and proposing solutions. I then test the validity of my proposed solutions by conducting empirical analyses examining how big business and labor political action committee (PAC) contributors influence U.S. House decision making. My findings vividly show significant big business influence on House decision making, but negligible labor influence. These findings carry considerable implications for power structure theorizing and research, and provide a solid foundation for future power structure work.

Details

Political Power and Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-667-0

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Book part
Publication date: 27 July 2018

Claire Laurier Decoteau

This chapter suggests that moving beyond positivism entails a recognition that the social world is made up of complex phenomena that are heterogeneous, and events are…

Abstract

This chapter suggests that moving beyond positivism entails a recognition that the social world is made up of complex phenomena that are heterogeneous, and events are caused by contingent conjunctures of causal mechanisms. To theorize the social world as heterogeneous is to recognize that social causes, categories, and groups combine different kinds of phenomena and processes at various levels and scales across time. To speak of conjunctural causation implies not only that events are caused by concatenations of multiple, intersecting forces but also that these combinations are historically unique and nonrepeatable. Both the historical materialist conception of the “conjuncture” and the poststructuralist theory of “assemblages” take heterogeneity and multicausality seriously. I compare and contrast these formulations across three dimensions: the structure of the apparatus, causation, and temporality. I argue that these theories offer useful tools to social scientists seeking to engage in complex, multicausal explanations. I end the article with an example of how to use these concepts in analyzing a complex historical case.

Details

Critical Realism, History, and Philosophy in the Social Sciences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-604-0

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Kyung-Tae Kim, Jung Seung Lee and Su-Yol Lee

This study aims to examine the effects of contractual fairness and power sources on the relationship between the buyer and supplier on the innovation performance of the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the effects of contractual fairness and power sources on the relationship between the buyer and supplier on the innovation performance of the supplier. The mediating role of social capital accumulation between fairness, power and innovation performance was empirically explored.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses were developed to investigate the relationships between supply chain fairness, power sources, social capital and innovation performance. Using structural equation modeling, the hypotheses were tested on data of 209 responses collected from supplying firms in South Korea.

Findings

This study finds that supply chain contractual fairness and referent power use contribute to the innovation performance of the supplier through social capital accumulation between the buyer and supplier. Coercive power, in contrast, impedes the performance improvement of the supplier.

Originality/value

This study provides supply chain practitioners, academics and policy-makers with guidance on how to facilitate and enhance innovation capabilities and performance across the supply chain. By applying social capital theory, this study also provides theoretical underpinning of the literature on supply chain fairness, power and innovation.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Eric W.T. Ngai, Ka-leung Karen Moon, S.S. Lam, Eric S. K. Chin and Spencer S.C. Tao

In recent years, social media have attracted considerable attention. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to conduct a critical literature review of social media research…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, social media have attracted considerable attention. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to conduct a critical literature review of social media research with the aim of developing a conceptual framework to explain how social media applications are supported by various social media tools and technologies and underpinned by a set of personal and social behavior theories or models.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted a two-stage approach. The first stage involves a critical literature review of academic journals in social media research, followed by the proposal of a conceptual framework that highlights the tools and technologies as well as theories and models that serve as the foundation of social media applications. The second stage involves the use of an actual case to demonstrate how the proposed framework facilitates the development of a social media application for a regional division of an international non-government organization.

Findings

The literature review indicated that social media have been applied in diverse business areas with the support of various social media tools and technologies and underpinned by a range of personal and social behavior theories and models. Based upon such findings, a conceptual social media application framework was devised and its usability illustrated via a real-life case study. Managerial implications are also discussed.

Research limitations/implications

Social media covers a wide range of research topics and thus, the literature review presented in this study may not be exhaustive. Nevertheless, the proposed framework and case study can both serve as reference for future research and provide recommendations for practitioners in the design and development of their own social media applications.

Practical implications

This study not only explains the importance of applying social media in various business sectors, but also enhances the understanding of the infrastructure of social media applications. The study also provides insights for improving the efficiency of application solutions. Organizations are advised to adopt social media in their business based on the proposed conceptual framework.

Originality/value

With a literature review of social media research and a real-life case study, this study presents a conceptual framework using extant theories and models to form a foundation for social media applications. The framework extends existing knowledge on the design and development of information systems.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 115 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2020

Panpan Wang, Qian Huang and Robert M. Davison

The success of social commerce depends on consumers' willingness to participate in social commerce activities. Practitioners have attached increasing attention to…

Abstract

Purpose

The success of social commerce depends on consumers' willingness to participate in social commerce activities. Practitioners have attached increasing attention to facilitating social commerce intention with influencer strategies. However, theoretical understanding or empirical investigation on the impact of digital influencers on consumers' social commerce intention is limited. This study aims to provide new insights into the drivers of two forms of social commerce intention: social shopping and social sharing intention. Based on the theoretical lens of social power, this study answers how digital influencers affect consumer satisfaction and ultimately boost their intention to conduct social commerce activities.

Design/methodology/approach

A field interview is conducted to determine the appropriate social power forms. An online survey on a large social commerce site in China with 310 respondents is conducted to test the proposed model.

Findings

Results indicate that expert power and referent power derived from digital influencers predict most of the consumers' economic satisfaction, whereas referent power and reciprocity power explain consumers' social satisfaction. Economic satisfaction affects social shopping and social sharing intention, whereas social satisfaction only influences social sharing intention.

Originality/value

This study sheds new light on the theoretical understanding of the effect of digital influencers through a lens of social power. It provides new insight into the determinants of social commerce intention. It also compensates for the neglect of social satisfaction in the social commerce context.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2015

Yu-Wei Chang, Ping-Yu Hsu, Wen-Lung Shiau and Ronghua Yi

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how customer power of environmental factors affects customer support (CS) engineers’ personal motivations in a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how customer power of environmental factors affects customer support (CS) engineers’ personal motivations in a knowledge-sharing context. The authors examine extrinsic (i.e. organizational rewards, reputation, and reciprocity) and intrinsic motivations (i.e. knowledge self-efficacy) affecting knowledge-sharing intentions based on the social exchange theory (SET) and self-efficacy theory. Furthermore, the authors introduce the concept of the social power theory to investigate the moderating effect of customer power on the relationships between personal motivations and knowledge-sharing intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

This study collects 349 questionnaires of CS engineers from 16 countries, including the USA, China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. After the data collection, the research model and hypotheses are tested using partial least squares.

Findings

The empirical results show that reputation, reciprocity, and knowledge self-efficacy are significantly and positively related to knowledge-sharing intentions. Also, the results show that customer power can significantly moderate the relationships between personal motivations and knowledge-sharing intentions.

Research limitations/implications

The findings help multinational corporations employ the perception of customer power to motivate CS engineers to share knowledge. Especially, the results can help organizations increase customer added value through effective knowledge sharing.

Originality/value

The research model integrates personal motivations derived from the SET and self-efficacy theory and customer power of environmental factors. Additionally, this study is the first to investigate the moderating effect of customer power on employees’ personal motivations and behavioral intentions.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 67 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Mohammad Reza Jalilvand and Leila Nasrolahi Vosta

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of five dimensions of power (coercive, expert, legitimate, referent, and reward) on employees’ affective commitment in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of five dimensions of power (coercive, expert, legitimate, referent, and reward) on employees’ affective commitment in the sport organizations using social exchange theory.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected using a questionnaire including managerial power and affective commitment measures. A sample of 318 employees from a number of sport organizations operating in the Iran was used. Structural equation modeling was used to test the relationship between managerial power and affective commitment.

Findings

There are two major findings in this research. First, the relationships among expert power, legitimate power, reward power, referent power, and affective commitment are positive and significant. Second, the construct of coercive power was not associated with employees’ affective commitment. The findings suggest that managerial power relates with a social exchange relationship where employees exchange positive outcomes including strong affective commitment. When people perceive manager power, they feel more affectively attached to their organizations.

Research limitations/implications

Sampling was one of the limitations identified in this study. The fact that convenience sampling was used meant that results were not immediately transferable to the general working population. In addition, the sample subjects in this study were mostly employees who worked in the sport sector of Iran. Future research could look into extending the study population to include collect input from other types of organization. If samples were drawn from a wider range of demographics, then the results become more meaningful.

Practical implications

Power generally refers to the ability, capacity or potential to get others do something, to command, to influence, to determine, or to control the behaviors, intentions, decisions, or actions of others in the pursuit of one’s own goals or interests despite resistance, as well as to induce changes. By utilizing expert power, reward power, legitimate power, and referent power, managers can promote affective organizational commitment and, thus, individual and organizational performance. It is likely that this occurs because people react reciprocally toward an organization that satisfies their needs, makes them feel that they are valued as human beings and that they deserve respectful treatment, and allows them to experience senses of purpose, self-determination, enjoyment, and belonging.

Originality/value

The fact that power can be used as an effective tool to coordinate and manage others appears to be largely ignored in the literature. The paper contributes by filling a gap in the organization and management literature, in which empirical studies on managerial power as an antecedent of affective organizational commitment have been scarce until now.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Book part
Publication date: 30 September 2020

Kevan Harris

One of the concepts most commonly evoked in order to characterize and explain the zig-zag trajectory of political dynamics in the Islamic Republic of Iran has been the…

Abstract

One of the concepts most commonly evoked in order to characterize and explain the zig-zag trajectory of political dynamics in the Islamic Republic of Iran has been the “middle class.” Yet there is no scholarly consensus on a fundamental approach to identification and measurement of the middle class. Rather, the category of the middle class is both a category of analysis – long debated within social theory – as well as a category of practice – routinely deployed in political behavior and social distinction. In order to better conceptualize and understand the formation and role of Iran's middle classes in the country's sociopolitical dynamics, theories of class formation in the global South should be rearticulated away from a reified notion of the middle class as a transhistorical subject. To do so, this chapter is divided into four sections. First, internal debates over the role of Iran's middle classes in the country's recent political history are assessed and data from the 2016 Iran Social Survey is used to test a long-standing demographic assumption on the class dynamics of electoral behavior. Second, the tradition of theorizing the social power of middle classes is reassessed, drawing on the growing scholarly attention to the heterogenous origins and differentiated internal composition of middle classes across the global South. Third, a typology is proposed of four middle classes across the twentieth century shaped by varying state attempts at “catch-up” development. These types are then applied in a revisionist telling of the making and unmaking of middle classes in postrevolutionary Iran. Finally, implications of this framework beyond Iran are sketched out for global waves of protest in the twenty-first century.

Details

Rethinking Class and Social Difference
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-020-5

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 100000