AuthorDouma, Bambi M.
AdvisorKoput, Kenneth W.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWhile there is a large amount of research on positive social relationships and their potential benefits and opportunities (social capital), negative social relationships and their potential social liabilities have been virtually ignored in the sociological and organizational literatures. Several researchers have identified this gap and made the call for research to examine both sides of social relationships to balance the "social ledger" (e.g., Brass & Labianca, 1999). This dissertation was designed as a first step into the investigation of negative social ties. Two studies were conducted to examine characteristics that might affect the valence of social relationships as well as the influence of these types of social ties on various outcomes. Homophily, or interactions with similar individuals, has been shown to positively influence social relationships in a variety of areas (McPherson, Smith-Lovin, & Cook, 2001) and heterophily, or interactions with dissimilar others, has been proposed to influence negative social relationships (Brass & Labianca. 1999; Labianca & Brass, 1997). Furthermore, Brass and Labianca theorized that there would be an asymmetric effect between these two types of social ties and that negative ties would have more of an impact on outcomes than positive ties. I test hypotheses about heterophily and negative asymmetry, yet go beyond Brass and Labianca to also test for differences between forms of negative ties. Data from three samples of undergraduate students in a male-dominated field of study were examined. Dissimilarities in age and differences in leadership preferences between dyad members were significantly related to negative ties. Older participants were more likely to have negative ties than younger participants, as older participants rated others negatively more often and were rated negatively more often. Participants who preferred to be leaders in their small groups did not want to work again with others who did not care who led the small group or others who definitely preferred someone else lead. There was little evidence to support Brass and Labianca's negative asymmetry theory. An expansion of this theory that includes distinguishing between self-directed and other-directed outcomes, as well as when to apply the different forms of negative ties is presented.
Degree ProgramGraduate College