A recent publication in Long Range Planning brings to the fore the interesting phenomenon of network regeneration. Often we believe that networks of all sorts, formal, informal, and especially those that are voluntarily maintained, fall apart as an organization gets temporarily hammered by restructuring.
Interestingly however, some employees actually become more active instead. Reaching out to others not because they are told to, but because they see this as a manner to cope with the uncertainty – or even opportunity – associated with restructuring.
Aalbers, R. (2019) Rewiring the Intrafirm Network under Downsizing: The Role of Tie Loss on Discretionary Tie Formation, Long Range Planning, /doi.org/10.1016/j.lrp.2018.11.002
Drawing on the literature on structural embeddedness and self-determination, I assessed the impact of the sudden loss of discretionary maintained ties on the aptitude to establish new discretionary ties as I observed an organization enduring downsizing over time, in this case at a large information technology service provider. Findings outlined in this Long Range Planning article indicate the relevance of local structural as well as global structural embeddedness as a foundation for voluntary future tie activation.