Popular people, performance standards, employee selection, industrial relations


Are popular people good performers? This is the driving question behind this study of workplace behavior and performance. The literature suggests that popular people, those who hold central positions in a social network, will also have high levels of individual work performance in a customer service setting (Hogans, 1971; Hurley, 1998; Stevens & Macintosh, 2002). However, after analyzing social network data from 128 employees in a call center, the data show that popular people, those holding a central role in the friendship network, are likely to underperform their colleagues in technical work and sales performance. Implications for employee selection and management of customer service employees are discussed.

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