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Bonds and boundaries: Network Structure, organizational boundaries, and job performance


Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes


Organisational Behaviour

Authors / Editors

Zou X;Ingram P

Publication Year



We propose and test a framework that describes the relationship between network structures and job performance. We provide an integration of the current conceptualizations of social capital as they pertain to job performance outcomes by taking a multi-dimensional view of job performance. We break down job performance into creativity, decision-making, task execution, and teamwork, and distinguish the effect of structural holes within and across the organizational boundary on these four job performance domains. In an analysis of 318 managers, we find that networks rich in structural holes that cross the organizational boundary had a positive association with creativity and decision-making, whereas networks with few structural holes within the organization had a positive association with task execution and teamwork. We discuss the theoretical implications for integrating the social capital, boundary spanning, and network structure literatures, as well as the practical benefits of giving much more precise advice to managers and employees regarding how to use networks to improve performance at work.


Job performance; Organizational boundaries; Social networks

Available on ECCH


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