Empowering or Burdening? The Short-Term Benefits and Costs of Upward Networking at Work

Dr Song Wang (PhD, Peking University) will discuss the short-term benefits and costs of upward networking at work.

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Research on social networking primarily focuses on the long-term beneficial consequences of upward networking; that is, behaviours of building and maintaining relationships with leaders in support of task and professional goals. How upward networking influences actors in the short term is largely overlooked. Indeed, upward networking may have different, possibly even negative, effects when considering shorter time frames. Drawing upon conservation of resources theory, we develop a dual-pathway model that simultaneously examines both the immediate benefits and the costs of upward networking for employees on a daily basis. Utilizing a time-lagged experience sampling methodology across 84 employees who completed twice-daily surveys for 10 consecutive workdays, we examined the indirect effects of daily upward networking on work engagement through the resource gain of perceived impact at work and the resource loss of ego depletion. Furthermore, we found that self-control capacity moderated the dual-pathway mechanisms. Specifically, for employees high in self-control, engaging in daily upward networking is more likely to increase perceived impact at work and decrease ego depletion, which sequentially improves work engagement, while for those low in self-control vice versa. Overall, our findings highlight the complexities of daily upward networking, which both empowers and burdens employees in terms of immediate work outcomes. 

 About the speaker: 

Dr Song Wang (PhD Peking University) is an associate professor in School of Management, Zhejiang University. She is the Fulbright visiting student (2011- 2012) at Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and visiting scholar (2018-2019) in the Stanford Technology and Ventures Program, Stanford University. Her research interests include social network and entrepreneurship. Her publications appear in Academy of Management Journal, International Business Review, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Journal of Business Ethics and Chinese top tier journals such as Management World and Acta Psychologica Sinica. Dr Wang has led three funds from the National Natural Science Foundation of China. She has won the first prize in the Teaching Competition in Zhejiang Province and the Award for Teaching Excellence of Zhejiang University. Dr Wang is appointed as entrepreneurship mentor by Plug and Play and research committee of Organization and Management Theory (OMT) Division in Academy of Management Conference and reviewer for Journal of World Business, Journal of Vocational Behavior, International Business Review, Journal of Business Ethics, Management and Organization Review, etc.