Centrality, brokerage and in-role performance in professional organizations

Anssi Smedlund, Emily Choi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


In this paper, we present a comprehensive view of centrality, brokerage and individual performance by integrating a structural approach and contingency view of network theory. Network theory up until now has shown that both centrality and brokerage are associated with higher performance, but studies comparing the effects of centrality and brokerage are rare. We propose that the effects of both centrality and brokerage are simultaneously present. Work role moderates both the centrality and brokerage effects, and brokerage moderates centrality’s effect on performance. Specifically, we studied the effects of individual’s positions and work role in three organization-wide communication networks in an architect firm of 93 employees. Our analysis demonstrates an association between centrality and performance for both employee roles, but the contributors did not benefit from brokerage to the same extent as the supervisors. Brokerage positively moderated the association between centrality and in-role performance, but the effect was smaller for those supervisors whose brokerage score was the highest. These findings correspond with extant understanding of the effects of brokerage, but the findings also support recent views that centrality is generally more often associated with high performance compared to brokerage.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
PublisherAcademy of Management (AOM)
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventAcademy of Management Annual Meeting: Making Organizations Meaningful - Anaheim, United States
Duration: 5 Aug 20169 Aug 2016
Conference number: 76

Publication series

NameAcademy of Management Proceedings
ISSN (Electronic)2151-6561


ConferenceAcademy of Management Annual Meeting
Abbreviated titleAOM
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • network theory, work roles, professional organization


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