Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Brokerage as a Process: Decoupling Action from Social Network Structure

OBSTFELD David, BORGATTI Stephen P., DAVIS Jason P.
Access the publisher's website in Research in the Sociology of Organizations (Vol. 40) Daniel J. Brass, Giuseppe (Joe) Labianca, Ajay Mehra, Daniel S. Halgin, Stephen P. Borgatti (Eds.), Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. (2014) 135-159

We argue for a broadened approach to brokerage by distinguishing between brokerage emphasizing a particular structural pattern in which two otherwise disconnected alters are connected through a third party (“brokerage structure”) and the social behavior of third parties (“brokerage process”). We explore a processual view of brokerage by examining three fundamental strategic orientations toward brokerage: conduit, tertius gaudens, and tertius iungens that occur in many different forms and combinations. This processual view is especially relevant in increasingly complex and dynamic environments where brokerage behavior is highly varied, intense, and purposeful, and has theoretical implications for studying multiplexity, heterogeneity, and brokerage intensity.