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Cognitive social structures in social network research: A review


Journal of Organizational Behavior


Organisational Behaviour

Authors / Editors

Brands R A

Publication Year



This review highlights one stream of work within the social network field, namely the work on cognitive social structures (CSS). First, CSS research is positioned within the field of social networks, and the key methods associated with CSS research are described. Research examining systematic biases in individuals' perceptions of social networks is covered, as is research examining the consequences of biased network perceptions (in terms of behaviors and outcomes). A research agenda is forwarded, suggesting three key directions for future research: the social capital of cognitive ties, extending and challenging network accuracy as a source of advantage and collective agency and organizational change. The overall goal is to invigorate research that moves beyond the description of cognitive social structures to an outcome-focused research paradigm.


cognitive social structures; social networks; review

Available on ECCH


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