Georgie Nightingall

Thesis Title: Improving organisational outcomes through weak ties: an investigation using behaviour settings

Abstract: This research aims to enhance weak tie human connectivity outcomes through the application of behavior settings theory. Human connection is a vital human need, but the rise in technology has not fully addressed our need for interpersonal connections, which has become increasingly urgent due to the global loneliness epidemic and the rise of remote work. Fulfilling this need is crucial for both individual well-being and organizational performance, as it can lead to enhanced innovation, creativity, and productivity.

While much research has focused on strong tie relationships, there is a limited understanding of weak tie connections and their development. Weak ties, characterized by lower intimacy, play a significant role on the periphery of our social networks, offering socio-emotional, cognitive, and functional value. These connections influence individuals’ well-being, work opportunities, and life prospects.

All social connections, including weak ties, begin with interactions shaped by complex behavioral routines influenced by environmental factors. Behavior settings theory, rooted in ecological psychology, provides a framework for understanding these routines by considering the impact of the physical and social environment on individual actions. Shedding light on the mechanics underlying weak tie interactions can provide a systematic approach to disrupt and influence these interactions positively, ultimately fostering improved human connectivity outcomes in diverse contexts.

First Supervisor: Weston Baxter

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