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Another useful dimensionality of social relationships that has become common practice in social network research is the distinction between instrumental and expressive relationships (Ibarra, 1993, 1995). These distinct relationships are believed to provide different kinds of support and transfer unique knowledge and information (Erickson, 1988). Instrumental relationships encompass social interactions that are ultimately aimed at achieving organizational goals, such as work related advice or collaboration. Instrumental ties are believed to be ‘weak’ ties through which work related information and knowledge is exchanged between experts and people who seek information (Granovetter, 1973). Expressive relationships are formed through social interaction that is not directly aimed at work related issues, that often places the individual’s interest above that of the organization (Burt, 1997), and that is mostly characterized by an affective component, such as personal support and friendship. In general, expressive ties are believed to be stronger, more durable and trustworthy, and offer greater potential to exert social influence


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