Strong Ties and Job Information

  • Murray S
  • Rankin J
  • Magill D
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Contrary to Granovetter's hypothesis that salient job information derives from "weak ties" (acquaintances), this study of 299 social and physical scientists at one Canadian and one U.S. university reveals that "strong ties" (intimates) were approximately seven times more prevalent than "weak ties." Furthermore, with only one exception (U.S. graduates who obtained Canadian academic positions), the reliance on "weak ties" for job information declined from 1920 to 1978. Although a greater amount of job information can be obtained through weak ties, the problem is to locate only the few openings for which one would be seriously considered and would consider accepting. Long lists of undesirable unobtainable positions are of little interest. Thus, it is more efficient to rely on a few intimate colleagues (strong ties) in seeking employment.

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  • Stephen O. Murray

  • Joseph H. Rankin

  • Dennis W. Magill

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