Cross-cultural differences in professional advice networks: whom do we turn to for professional advice?




Black, Stephanie Lee

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Social network research has recognized that professional networks are very deeply embedded in social structures; however, the aspect of culture and its significance has been overlooked in the literature with the majority of that particular research still only in the conceptual stage. There is still only a very limited understanding of how culture actually influences professional network structures among organizational members, particularly among upper management. The research is also limited regarding the theoretical explanations for the differences seen in cross-cultural social networks, and it does not specify clearly enough how our business leaders seek advice in their professional networks across cultures and how culture further shapes this network composition. This study takes into consideration the prior research and seeks to extend the social network literature by drawing on the extant social network and homophily literature as well as national culture literature in order to examine the network composition of organizational members' professional advice networks, a type of social network composed of relationships used for business purposes. Specifically, this study will examine how various aspects of organizational member's home culture influence the size and composition of organizational members' professional advice networks. Overall, this study seeks to gain a better understanding of the professional network resources used by organizational members in order to gain access to information to better inform their decision-making capabilities.


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advice seeking, cross cultural differences, networking, professional network composition