Winter Meeting 2015 - Weak Ties & Innovation

ROR Stage: gathering and analyzing data 

The concept of weak ties is one of the most influential sociological concepts in the last 40 years. Weak ties refer to people we don't see frequently, those that we know only through referrals from others, or those that we share some affiliations with but with whom we have not built relationships. Although strong ties are quite good at facilitating the exchange of knowledge because levels of trust/engagement and shared understanding are high, these relationships also frequently possess largely redundant knowledge. Weak ties in contrast are more likely to offer novel knowledge and thus may be more important to creativity and certain phases of innovation. 

Team: Natalie Schoch – Kellogg Company (CoChair); Leonard Huskey – US Army Research Laboratory (CoChairs); Robert McNamee – Temple University; Andrew Maxwell – York University