STANFORD
UNIVERSITY PRESS
  
Cover of Digital Relationships by Jason Davis
Digital Relationships
Network Agency Theory and Big Tech
Jason Davis

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February 2023
294 pages.
$70.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804791106

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Why do so many organizations fail to mobilize the social networks of employees to respond to disruptions, innovate, and change? In Digital Relationships, Jason Davis argues that individual and organizational interests about networking can come out of alignment such that the network ties that individuals form are organizationally sub-optimal for achieving their most ambitious goals. Developing a new perspective about networks and organizations, he explains through network agency theory how network problems emerge, the role of digital technology adoption by organizations in amplifying misalignment, and the capacity of managers and function of the executive to resolve agency problems and mitigate their impact. Drawing on over a decade of qualitative research in US, Asian, and European "big tech" companies and new analytical and computational modeling, this book offers new interpretations and solutions to the pathologies that emerge from organizationally detrimental networking behaviors and in the face of managerial interventions.

About the author

Jason Davis is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at INSEAD. His work has been published in top academic journals, such as the Administrative Science Quarterly, The American Economic Review, and the Strategic Management Journal.

"In this highly original volume, Jason Davis revisits the classic problem that individual and organizational goals typically diverge. He does so in the context of modern digital media that dramatically facilitate individuals' creation of network ties. When such networking is at cross-purposes to organizational well-being – as often happens when weak ties proliferate – managers badly need the ingenious advice that Davis offers."

—Mark Granovetter, Joan Butler Ford Professor, Stanford University; author of Society and Economy: Framework and Principles

"Rarely does a book come along that so completely rewrites what we thought we knew. Digital Relationships is just such a book. It's a "must-read" for academics and executives who want to understand why social networks are so challenging. By probing the deepening chasm between individual and organizational interests, Digital Relationships will re-shape your conception of how social networks work. And more often, don't."

—Kathleen Eisenhardt, S. W. Ascherman Professor, Stanford University; co-author of Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World