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Opinion transmission in organizations: an agent-based modeling approach

Opinion transmission in organizations: an agent-based modeling approach

Rouchier, Juliette, Tubaro, Paola and Emery, Cécile (2013) Opinion transmission in organizations: an agent-based modeling approach. Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, 20 (3). pp. 252-277. ISSN 1381-298X (Print), 1572-9346 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10588-013-9161-2)

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Abstract

This paper builds a theoretical framework to detect the conditions under which social influence enables persistence of a shared opinion among members of an organization over time, despite membership turnover. It develops agent-based simulations of opinion evolution in an advice network, whereby opinion is defined in the broad sense of shared understandings on a matter that is relevant for an organization’s activities, and on which members have some degree of discretion. We combine a micro-level model of social influence that builds on the "relative agreement" approach of Deffuant et al. (J. Artif. Soc. Simul. 5:4, 2002), and a macro-level structure of interactions that includes a flow of joiners and leavers and allows for criteria of advice tie formation derived from, and grounded in, the empirical literature on intra-organizational networks.

We provide computational evidence that persistence of opinions over time is possible in an organization with joiners and leavers, a result that depends on circumstances defined by mode of network tie formation (in particular, criteria for selection of advisors), individual attributes of agents (openness of newcomers to influence, as part of their socialization process), and time-related factors (turnover rate, which regulates the flow of entry and exit in the organization, and establishes a form of endogenous hierarchy based on length of stay). We explore the combined effects of these factors and discuss their implications.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10588-013-9161-2
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social influence; Social networks; Intra-organizational networks; Agent-based modeling; Opinion dynamics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Faculty of Business > Leadership & Organisational Behaviour Research Group (LOB)
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Leadership & Organisational Behaviour Research Group (LOB)
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2016 14:53
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/13979

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