This work aims at understanding how social support ties form from economic exchange. We studied a multiplex network of instrumental and expressive relationships in a group of independent workers who occasionally collaborate for business purposes. We tested (i) the effect of professional collaborations on the formation of support ties; (ii) the role of business-related trust as a mechanism underlying this relationship; (iii) the endogenous effects of reciprocity and closure on the formation of a support network. We collected network and demographic data through a questionnaire, which was personally administered to all the 29 freelance workers who share an ICT- focused coworking space located in Brescia, North-western Italy. This group was selected because the coworking space did not have any formal organizational structure providing incentives to professional collaboration between its members. This was an ideal context for disentangling the spontaneous formation of social ties from economic interactions. The data collection followed a 3-month ethnographic pre-study, which helped to understand the context, obtain full participation to the survey, and calibrate the questionnaire. Network data have been collected by means of the name-generator approach. Social support was measured by asking each subject potential whom they would turn to in case of need of material and emotional help for non work-related issues. A professional collaboration matrix resulted from the integration of data on incoming and outgoing flows of transactions, weighted by the related satisfaction level. In order to test the role of business-related trust, subjects were asked to cite trustworthy people as potential business partners. Finally, data about covariate networks were collected as control factors: advice-seeking within the previous 12 months, friendship, and previous acquaintance. We also gathered data about sociodemographic and business-related characteristics of the actors (age, gender, education, seniority, business revenues) and measured their baseline levels of generalized trust and group identification. We modeled social support together with trust by applying a family of multivariate exponential random graph models, controlling for actor-relation effects and exogenous effects yielded by covariate networks. We found that reciprocity was not essential for the formation of support ties. Conversely, we found a positive effect of path closure and a non-significant effect of cyclic closure. This suggests the emergence of local clusters where coworkers provide support by following transitive paths. Together with a strong negative effect of indegree centralization, our results show a globally decentralized flow of support which clusters locally around emergent hierarchies. With regards to multivariate effects, collaborating with another freelancer seems to increase the likelihood of developing expectations of support, regardless of the level of satisfaction with the business partner. Finally, trusting another freelancer for business purposes tends to foster expectations of support, also controlling for the other covariate networks. In conclusion, our work suggests that non-instrumental support is likely to align with trust in economic exchanges, while the outcome of a collaboration seems to be less relevant. Moreover, our study provides an interesting insight on the way informal hierarchical structures emerge among peers.
Coworking and social support among peers : a multivariate ERGM of economic and social exchange between ICT freelancers / F. Bianchi, N. Casnici, F. Squazzoni. ((Intervento presentato al 36. convegno Sunbelt Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis tenutosi a Newport Beach nel 2016.
|Titolo:||Coworking and social support among peers : a multivariate ERGM of economic and social exchange between ICT freelancers|
BIANCHI, FEDERICO (Primo)
|Data di pubblicazione:||7-apr-2016|
|Parole Chiave:||solidarity; social support; SNA; ERGM; multiplex networks; coworking; freelance workers|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore SPS/09 - Sociologia dei Processi economici e del Lavoro|
Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale
|Citazione:||Coworking and social support among peers : a multivariate ERGM of economic and social exchange between ICT freelancers / F. Bianchi, N. Casnici, F. Squazzoni. ((Intervento presentato al 36. convegno Sunbelt Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis tenutosi a Newport Beach nel 2016.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|