The Kindness of Strangers : The Usefulness of Electronic Weak Ties for Technical Advice

  title={The Kindness of Strangers : The Usefulness of Electronic Weak Ties for Technical Advice},
  author={David R Constant and Lee Sproull and Sara Kiesler},
People use weak ties—relationships with acquaintances or strangers—to seek help unavailable from friends or colleagues. Yet in the absence of personal relationships or the expectation of direct reciprocity, help from weak ties might not be forthcoming or could be of low quality. We examined the practice of distant employees (strangers) exchanging technical advice through a large organizational computer network. A survey of advice seekers and those who replied was conducted to test hypotheses… CONTINUE READING
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