This research includes an examination about the impact of two organisational factors upon the strength of workplace social network ties in SMEs. More specifically, this research applies the dimensions of Social Exchange Theory (SET) as a lens to develop an understanding into the effect of sociability and organisational culture upon the development of workplace social network tie strength. This study applied mixed methods to examine the proposed model. The research method includes a survey in which one hundred and fifty engineering employees were randomly selected to participate. In addition, the survey data was supported by conducting interviews with senior management. The findings confirm the proposed model and provide full support for each hypothesis. Therefore, the findings confirm that the organisational factors tested (sociability and organisational culture) impact upon the development of workplace social network ties. This research adds to the current body of literature by providing insight into workplace social networks for transferring important work based information, knowledge or resources in SMEs. In addition, this research also contributes to current literature examining how organisational culture can impact and shape the development of workplace social network ties.
Xerri, M & Brunetto Y, 2010, 'The strength of workplace social network ties in SMEs: a social exchange perspective', paper presented to Management research in a changing climate: British Academy of Management Conference. Sheffield, UK, 14-16 September.