Paper Angry Entrepreneurs: A Note on Networks Prone to Character Assassination
Much attention is given to the benefits of bridging structural holes in a network, but little is given to the costs involved in building the bridge. Here we study the risk of character assassination. Bridge relations are prone to difficulty from conflicting interests, indifference, and misunderstandings. When the bridge is adjacent to a closed network, difficulty is likely to escalate into character assassination. Sympathetic gossip within the closed network encourages ego to blame bridge difficulty on the character of the person on the other side of the bridge. We propose a character assassination index, a 'CA index,' measuring the extent to which a person's network increases the odds of him or her blaming difficulty on the character of a specific colleague. The index refines aggregate closure measures used in prior research, and does well in predicting who entrepreneurs cite as their most difficult contact, and predicting which entrepreneurs blame the difficulty on the contact's character (rather than the difficulty of the situation, or the contact's competence).
Published in: Proceedings
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- Social Preferences