Principles of Social Interaction/Exchange
Social interaction often leads to social exchanges where people not only talk but do things for each other; these are social exchanges. These principles apply to the people you work with: clients, employees, neighbors … everyone.
- The ‘exchanging’ of rewards is the basis of all social interaction.
Question: What rewards do we offer in return for cooperation and collaboration?
- All collaborative efforts are exchanges.
- Every exchange has a cost/benefit ratio: we avoid (or do badly or half-heartedly) those activities in which the costs outweigh the benefits; we seek to maintain, strengthen, enhance, and support those relationships where benefits outweigh costs.
Question: Describe the “ideal” positive exchange.
- Most (if not all) leadership/motivation problems (at the interpersonal level) are unbalanced exchanges (or the expectation of the consequences of the exchange) where costs outweigh benefits.
- Influence without authority—we gain influence with others when what we offer (in exchange for cooperation, collaboration, etc.) is needed, wanted, or valued.
- Scarce benefits are those that cannot be obtained easily elsewhere and are vital to the others’ success.
- Superior Bargaining Position (SBP)—when you have command of scarce or highly desirable resources, you possess a superior bargaining position.
Question: What are the dangers inherent with a SBP?
Joseph Bentley (Professor of Organizational Behavior at University of Utah)