Bridging cultural holes in organizations: The dynamic structure of social networks and organizational vocabularies within and across subunits

Stefano Tasselli (Associate Professor at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University)

  • Data: 19 novembre 2019 dalle 13:00 alle 14:45

  • Luogo: Sala Seminari 1, dipartimento DiSA

  • Modalità d'accesso: Ingresso libero


The mechanisms by which social networks and organizational vocabularies combine jointly to affect communication patterns across organizational boundaries remain largely unexplored. In this paper, we examine the mutually constitutive relation between the network ties through which organizational members communicate with each other and the vocabularies that they use to describe their organization. We suggest that the dynamic structure of social networks and organizational vocabularies is contingent on the formal design of organizational subunits. Within subunit boundaries, members who interact with each other are more likely to develop similar vocabularies over time. Between subunits, and interestingly, the more two members share similar organizational vocabularies, the more likely they are to form a tie over time. We find empirical evidence for these arguments in a longitudinal study conducted among the top managers of a multi-unit energy organization. Organizational vocabularies, we suggest, may sustain communication patterns across organizational boundaries, thus bridging cultural holes within organizations.