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Aloha all,

As promised, please find below all the references suggested in response to my question posted in this thread. I (loosely) organized them, and included a few comments pertaining to their content that were made by those who suggested them.

Thank you again for all your detailed responses,

Q: When brokerage is negatively associated with economic productivity?

Related Reviews:

Long, J., Cunningham, F., Braithwaite, J. 2013. “Bridges, brokers and boundary
spanners in collaborative networks: a systematic review.” BMC Health Services Research,13:158.


Phelps, C., Heidl, R. & Wadhwa, A. 2012. “Knowledge, networks, and knowledge networks: A review and research agenda.” Journal of Management, 38 (4): 1115 – 1166. 

Stovel, Katherine and Lynette Shaw. 2012. “Brokerage.” Annual Review of Sociology 38:139– 58.

Stovel, Katherine, Ben Golub, and Eva Meyersson Milgrom. 2011. “Stabilizing Brokerage” PNAS 108(Suppl.4):21326-21332. 


Related Empirical Evidence:

Ahuja, G. 2000. “Collaboration Networks, Structural Holes, and Innovation: A Longitudinal Study.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 45: 425-455.


Aral, Sinan, and Marshall Van Alstyne. 2011. "The diversity-bandwidth trade-off." American Journal of Sociology 117(1): 90-171.


Bizzi, L. 2013. “The Dark Side of Structural Holes A Multilevel Investigation.” Journal of Management, 39(6), 1554-1578.


Comet. Catherine. 2009. “Social capital and profits of small firms in the French construction industry.” Construction Management and Economics 27(4), 11‑18. (Brokerage is not profitable for all entrepreneurs according to the uncertainties they face)


Elliott, M., Golub, B., & Jackson, M. O. 2013. Financial networks and contagion. Available at SSRN 2175056.


J.C. Johnson and D. Parks. 1998. “Communication Roles, Perceived Effectiveness, and Satisfaction in an Environmental Management Program.” Journal of Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, 4(3):223-239. 


Kenneth T. Goh, David Krackhardt, Laurie R. Weingart, and Tat Koon Koh. 2014. “The Role of Simmelian Friendship Ties on Retaliation within Triads”, Small Group Research October  vol. 45 no. 5 471-505


Krackhardt, David. 1999. “The Ties that Torture: Simmelian Tie Analysis in Organizations.” Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 16:183-210. 


Lazega, E. 2001. The collegial phenomenon: The social mechanisms of cooperation among peers in a corporate law partnership. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Brokers between subgroups do less well, likely because the work is carried out collectively and it is easier to do this with colleagues in the same office)


Reagans, Ray E. and Ezra W. Zuckerman. 2008. "Why knowledge does not equal power: the network redundancy trade-off" Industrial and Corporate Change, Volume 17, Number 5, pp. 903–944.


Reagans, Ray E. and Ezra W. Zuckerman. 2008. "All in the Family; reply to Burt, Podolny, and van de Rijt, Ban, and Sarkar" Industrial and Corporate Change, Volume 17, Number 5, pp. 979–999.


Rooks, G., A. Szirmai and A. Sserwanga. 2012. Network Structure and Innovative Performance of African Entrepreneurs: The Case of Uganda. Journal of African Economics, 21: 609-636. (Non-linear association between constraint and innovative performance of Ugandan entrepreneurs)


Tortoriello, Marco, and David Krackhardt. 2010. “Activating cross-boundary knowledge: the role of Simmelian ties in the generation of innovations.” Academy of Management Journal 53(1):167-181.


Uzzi, B. 1996. “The sources and consequences of embeddedness for the economic performance of organizations: The network effect.” American Sociological Review, 674-698.


Uzzi, B. 1997. “Social structure and competition in interfirm networks: The paradox of embeddedness.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 35-67.


Walker, Gordon, Bruce Kogut, and Weijian Shan. 1997. “Social capital, structural holes and the formation of an industry network.” Organization science 8(2):109-125.


Xiao, Z. and A. S. Tsui. 2007. “When Brokers May Not Work: The Cultural Contingency of Social Capital in Chinese High-tech Firms.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 52(1): 1-31. (On the cultural contingency of structural holes)

Broker characteristics matter:

Burt, R. S. 1992. Structural Holes: The social structure of competition. Harvard University Press.


Burt, R. S., Jannotta, J. E., & Mahoney, J. T. 1998. “Personality correlates of structural holes.” Social Networks, 20(1), 63-87.


Burt, R. S. 2010. Neighbor Networks: Competitive advantage local and personal. Oxford University Press.


Carboni, I., & Gilman, R. 2012.  “Brokers at risk: Gender differences in the effects of structural position on social stress and life satisfaction.” Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 16(3):218-230.


Fleming, Lee, Santiago Mingo, and David Chen. 2007. "Collaborative brokerage, generative creativity, and creative success." Administrative Science Quarterly, 52(3): 443-475.


Kalish, Y.  and Robins, G. 2006. “Psychological predispositions and network structure: The relationship between individual predispositions, structural holes and network closure.” Social Networks, 26: 56-84.

Recent insight into identifying brokers:

Belotti, Elisa. 2009. "Brokerage roles between cliques: A secondary clique analysis." Methodological Innovations Online, 4: 53-73.


Valente, T. W. & Fujimoto, K. 2010. “Bridging: Locating critical connectors in a network.” Social Networks, 32:212-220.

Effect of ego networks on mental health and stress in disaster settings: (closure/density more important when relocated disaster victims have high resource loss & resources are distant; bridging/structural holes more important otherwise)



A.J. Faas, E.C. Jones, L.M. Whiteford, G.A. Tobin, and A.D. Murphy. 2014. “Gendered Access to Formal and Informal Resources in Post-Disaster Development in the Ecuadorian Andes.” Mountain Research and Development, 34(3):223-334.


E.C. Jones, A.J. Faas, A.D. Murphy, G.A. Tobin, L.M. Whiteford, C. McCarty. 2013. “Cross-Cultural and Site-Based Influences on which Demographic, Individual Well-being, and Social Network Factors Predict Risk Perception in Hazard and Disaster Settings.” Human Nature 24(1):5-32.


E.C. Jones, G.A. Tobin, C. McCarty, A.J. Faas, H. Yepes, L.M. Whiteford, A.D. Murphy. 2014. "Articulation of Personal Network Structure with Gendered Well-Being in Disaster and Relocation Settings," in Issues of Gender and Sexual Orientation in Humanitarian Emergencies. Edited by Larry Roeder, pp. 19-28. New York: Springer.


Tobin, G.A., L.M. Whiteford, A.D. Murphy, E.C. Jones, and C. McCarty. 2014. "Modeling Social Networks and Community Resilience in Chronic Disasters: Case Studies from Volcanic Areas in Ecuador and Mexico," in Resilience and Sustainability in Relation to natural Disasters: A Challenge for Future Cities. Edited by P. Gasparini, G. Manfredi and D. Asprone. New York: Springer Briefs in Earth Sciences.



Also potentially of interest:

Kadushin, Charles. 2004. “Too much investment in social capital?” Social Networks 26(1):75-90.


Mische, A., White, H. 1998. “Between Conversation and Situation: Public Switching Dynamics across Network Domains.” Social Research, 65(3): 695-724.    

Michele Barnes-Mauthe
Research Assistant, PhD Candidate
Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Interested in marine resource management? Check out our new publications on social networks, social capital, and ethnic diversity in Hawaii's longline fishery here: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00267-014-0395-7and here: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol18/iss1/art23/and the value of small-scale fisheries for supporting sustainable livelihoods and human wellbeing here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165783613001537

On Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 1:47 PM, Michele Barnes-Mauthe <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Aloha SOCNET community,

I am looking for existing research indicating that in some cases, bridging and/or brokerage may cause economic disadvantages for individuals, particularly when or if there are strong network subgroups which may "penalize" brokers for associating with other groups. 

I am very familiar with Burt's work on brokerage, but my primary takeaway from it is that occupying brokerage positions is thought to be a source of social capital expected to generate benefits. I am looking for theoretical and/or empirical evidence that suggests the opposite - i.e., people who broker are significantly less productive (economically), particularly when/if there are strong network subgroups that may cause brokers (defined as individuals who bridge these network subgroups) to be socially ostracized for associating with other groups.

If anyone can point me in the direction of existing research (in any field) that sheds light on this sort of effect, it would be much appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your time,
Michele Barnes-Mauthe

Michele Barnes-Mauthe
Research Assistant, PhD Candidate
Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Interested in marine resource management? Check out our new publications on ethnic diversity and social network structure in Hawaii's longline fishery here: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol18/iss1/art23/, the global economic value of shark ecotourism herehttp://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8956430and the total economic value of small-scale fisheries and their contribution to sustainable livelihoods here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165783613001537

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