Resilience of information flow during restructuring: Characterizing information value being exchanged and the structure of a network under turmoil

Hendrik Leendert Aalbers*, Wilfred Dolfsma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Based on a unique before-and-after research design for a study of a large financial services provider, this paper demonstrates how a sudden and substantial reduction in the number of formal positions affects an organization's voluntary ideation network in unexpected ways. The network of relations maintained to voluntarily (informally) exchange new ideas within a firm is more resilient to exogenous restructuring than the current literature suggests. Drawing on network theory, we show that the positioning of employees in an organization's instrumental workflow network prior to a major restructuring determines the degree to which they remain engaged with ideation activity. In addition, drawing on social exchange theory, we predict and find that the value of inputs provided to peers prior to downsizing positively moderates the likelihood that ideation activity persists. Thus, we contribute to research on organization restructuring and the evolution of social relations under conditions of uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-310
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Research
Volume100
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Discretionary activity
  • Downsizing
  • Intra-firm networks
  • Restructuring
  • Value of inputs

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