Organization Management Journal


The purpose of this article is to examine the effects of epistemic motives and social structures on individual actions and the implications for organizational outcomes. It has been suggested that the informal social structures that develop within organizations affect the behavior of individuals, perhaps more so than formal structure. If this is true, when studying organizations it may be important to examine the effects of informal social structures on individual actions and organizational outcomes. Drawing on findings from epistemic motive theory and expanding social capital theory, a cognition–structure–action model is introduced as a way to begin systematically examining the informal structure of relations that form within organizations on individual behavior. A multilevel perspective is used to examine the interrelationships between formal organizational structures and epistemic motivation and the formation of informal social structure. This article contributes to network research by examining potential cognitive antecedents to network structure.