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Book cover: Research in the Sociology of Organizations

Research in the Sociology of Organizations

ISSN: 0733-558X
Series editor(s): Professor Michael Lounsbury

Subject Area: Organization Studies

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Bringing Agency Back into Network Research: Constrained Agency and Network Action


Document Information:
Title:Bringing Agency Back into Network Research: Constrained Agency and Network Action
Author(s):Ranjay Gulati, Sameer B. Srivastava
Volume:40 Editor(s): Daniel J. Brass, Giuseppe (Joe) Labianca, Ajay Mehra, Daniel S. Halgin, Stephen P. Borgatti ISBN: 978-1-78350-751-1 eISBN: 978-1-78350-752-8
Citation:Ranjay Gulati, Sameer B. Srivastava (2014), Bringing Agency Back into Network Research: Constrained Agency and Network Action, in Daniel J. Brass, Giuseppe (Joe) Labianca, Ajay Mehra, Daniel S. Halgin, Stephen P. Borgatti (ed.) Contemporary Perspectives on Organizational Social Networks (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Volume 40), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.73-93
DOI:10.1108/S0733-558X(2014)0000040004 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item
Abstract:We propose a framework of constrained agency grounded in the actors’ resources and motivations within their structurally constrained context. Structural positions influence the resources available to actors and color the motivations that shape their actions. Resources equip actors to exert agency, while motivations propel them to do so. We derive a typology of network actions and illustrate how the form of constrained agency through which a particular network action is taken can affect actors’ ensuing structural positions and the nature of the constraints they subsequently face. Our conceptualization of constrained agency identifies new sources of endogenous change in network structure.

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