SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

This study investigated the nature of network communication patterns based on innovation. As expected from previous work on uncertainty and informal organizational elites, a central group of core, integrated members was apparent in each network structure from three organizational subunits in a school district. Earlier studies have shown that communication about new ideas tends to occur in strong, multiplex relationships rather than weak ties in organizations. Such findings are apparent at the group level in the analyses of these data; the central, elite groups are characterized by dense linkages and high volumes of social/personal, and work communication. Relational attributions and content data were analyzed in a 2 × 2 table of elite and outsider sources and their judgments of elite and outsider contacts. As expected, elites view one another more favorably (on affect, influence, and receptiveness to new ideas) than they do outsiders. Outsiders also tend to rate elites more favorably in each area than they do other outsiders. Implications are discussed in terms of the way that elites manage uncertainty, others’ attributions, and their close versus weak ties in order to retain influence and control over innovation processes.