Exploring the Role of Social Networks in Affective Organizational Commitment : Network Centrality, Strength of Ties, and Structural Holes

Lee, Jooho / Kim, Soonhee


Although studies in public management have identified personal attributes, job characteristics, and organizational rewards as key factors that influence affective organizational commitment, limited attention has been paid to the influence of social networks on affective commitment. Given that organizational attitudes and behaviors are often socially constructed, this article argues that employees’ affective commitment is influenced by their social networks in an organization. What are the social network configurations that lead to affective organizational commitment? This study attempts to answer this question by focusing on nonlinear relationships between several network dimensions (i.e., network centrality, tie strength, and structural holes) and affective commitment. These relationships are empirically tested by using both social network data and employee survey data collected from two local governments in South Korea. Results of the study show that employees’ network centrality has an inverted U-shaped relationship with affective commitment and structural holes have a U-shaped association with affective commitment, controlling for certain organizational rewards and individual attributes. However, the relationship between a tie strength and affective commitment is not statistically significant. The practical and theoretical implications of the study findings are discussed.

Issue Date
SAGE Publications
Affective Organizational Commitment; Network Centrality; Social Networks; Structural Holes; Tie Strength
Journal Title
American Review of Public Administration
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