In the last part we looked at the structural holes model that suggested that people who regulate the flow of information between groups gain more social capital. Let’s look at what the data tells us.
The plots shown in this post have all been taken from Prof. Roland Burt’s paper titled “Structural Holes versus Network Closure as Social Capital“. The x-axis on each of these plots denotes the propensity for structural holes. The more connected a network, the smaller the number of holes. Going to the right along the x-axis denotes denser networks and hence smaller number of holes.
Does performance really depend on how one is placed in the network? Figure A below shows that the probability of an “outstanding” evaluation goes down, the smaller the number of structural holes, and vice-versa, implying that those who are in positions of making use of structural holes or act as Bridge connectors are more likely to be graded as high performers.
“Well, what about salary then?”, you might ask. Figure D above shows how the salary of managers seems to go down in networks with lower structural holes – in effect tends to get more homogenized. Without commenting on whether this is good or bad, it again tends to show that mean salaries of network bridges or brokers seems to be higher than their colleagues in more egalitarian networks.
Bonuses and Promotions
The probability of obtaining a larger bonus goes up as we look at managers who are bridges (Figure F). The same is true for those managers who have relatively earlier promotions as compared to their peers in more networked organizations.
As we have seen above, it appears as if those who are in a power to influence communication or bring together mostly disconnected groups seem to be in a position to gather increased social capital within an organization. What does this imply for role fits? Succession planning? Driving engagement? I plan to take those up in my next post.