Agency and Intentionality in Networking: An Interactive Experiment

Balint Dioszegi, Valentina Tartari, Daniella Laureiro-Martínez, Stefano Brusoni, Anne L. J. Ter Wal

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Despite tremendous progress in network and social capital research over the past decades, the behavioral aspects of networking remain ill-understood. Research has tended to ignore how individuals balance intentional, high-agency networking actions and serendipitous, low-agency actions and how the mix between those two sets of behaviors may affect individual utility from networking. Whereas the emerging body of research on networking predominantly portrays individuals as highly instrumental and goal-directed in their networking, studies in the prevailing structuralist paradigm of social capital research emphasize network actions induced by prior social structure and environmental factors. In this study we aim to unite both perspectives, addressing how individuals balance intentional and serendipitous behaviors during networking. Using an interactive experiment in which we manipulate the extent of forethought exercised ahead of an information search task, we observe ? with the help of sociometric badges ? how planning and preparation shift the balance between ego- vs. alterinitiated actions, intentional vs. ad-hoc actions, and deliberate vs. emergent actions. Using a battery of psychological and cognitive measures as a backdrop, we assess how certain personality and cognitive characteristics enable individuals to adopt the balance in behaviors that helps them to successfully navigate social settings in search of information.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventDRUID19 Conference - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Duration: 19 Jun 201921 Jun 2019
Conference number: 41


ConferenceDRUID19 Conference
LocationCopenhagen Business School
Internet address

Cite this