Filip Agneessens

Dr Filip Agneessens

Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management, Programme Leader for the 4-year PhD in Management, Co-leader of the MSc in Occupational and Organizational Psychology
+44 (0)1483 682557
52 MS 03
Wednesday 1-2pm, Thursday 1-2pm



Research interests

My teaching


Postgraduate research supervision

My publications


Soltis SM, Agneessens F, Sasovova Z, Labianca G (2013) A social network perspective on turnover intentions: The role of distributive justice and social support, Human Resource Management 52 (4) pp. 561-584
Organizations are increasingly concerned about retaining human talent, particularly within knowledge-based industries where turnover is expensive. Our study employs a social network perspective to explore the influence of employees' formal and informal workplace relationships on their turnover intentions. We do this in a life sciences organization experiencing employee turnover at over twice the rate of the industry average. Drawing on extant work on the effects of distributive justice at work, we argue that employees who are heavily sought out for advice see themselves as being under-rewarded for the time and effort that goes into providing advice, thus increasing turnover intentions. Additionally, we argue that employees see the ability to seek out advice as a form of social support that embeds them into the organization and decreases intention to quit. By exploring the network positions of individuals in the workflow and advice networks, we demonstrate that when employees are either providing advice to someone they are obligated to work with or are able to seek out advice from others who are not required to work with them, the relationship with turnover intentions is most intense. We conclude by discussing contributions to the theory and practice of human resource management. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Agneessens F, Roose H (2008) Local structural properties and attribute characteristics in 2-mode networks: p* models to map choices of theater events, Journal of Mathematical Sociology 32 (3) pp. 204-237
Choices of plays made by theatergoers can be considered as a 2-mode or affiliation network. In this article we illustrate how p* models (an exponential family of distributions for random graphs) can be used to uncover patterns of choices. Based on audience research in three theater institutions in Ghent (Belgium), we analyze the loyalty for an institution, the diversity in audience composition as well as more complex local structural patterns. The results seem to indicate that theater audiences are generally loyal to an institution. However, when controlling for more complex structural patterns, such as the co-attendance of identical plays, the tendency toward mobility across institutions becomes more pronounced. By integrating both attribute-specific patterns and more complex structural patterns in the same model social network analysis offers the possibility to investigate differences in co-attendance, loyalty and audience diversity.
Agneessens F, Skvoretz J (2012) Group differences in reciprocity, multiplexity and exchange: Measures and application, Quality and Quantity 46 (5) pp. 1523-1545
Local forces structure social networks. One major and widely researched local force is reciprocity, often assumed to work homogeneously across actors-i. e., all actors are equally subject to the same level of force towards reciprocity. Other local forces, like multiplexity and exchange, are also often assumed to apply equally to different actors. But social theory provides us with ample arguments why such forces might be stronger in some subsets of actors than others, or why such forces might affect intergroup ties more than intragroup ties. In this paper we introduce standard measures to capture these group specific forces towards reciprocity, multiplexity, and exchange. All the measures control for differential tendencies of actors to initiate ties of various types. We also introduce a procedure by which differences in the strength of these forces between groups and subgroups can be statistically evaluated. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Mundt MP, Agneessens F, Tuan W-J, Zakletskaia LI, Kamnetz SA, Gilchrist VJ (2016) Primary care team communication networks, team climate, quality of care, and medical costs for patients with diabetes: A cross-sectional study, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NURSING STUDIES 58 pp. 1-11 PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Opsahl T, Agneessens F, Skvoretz J (2010) Node centrality in weighted networks: Generalizing degree and shortest paths, Social Networks 32 (3) pp. 245-251
Ties often have a strength naturally associated with them that differentiate them from each other. Tie strength has been operationalized as weights. A few network measures have been proposed for weighted networks, including three common measures of node centrality: degree, closeness, and betweenness. However, these generalizations have solely focused on tie weights, and not on the number of ties, which was the central component of the original measures. This paper proposes generalizations that combine both these aspects. We illustrate the benefits of this approach by applying one of them to Freeman's EIES dataset. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
Agneessens F, Wittek R (2012) Where do intra-organizational advice relations come from? The role of informal status and social capital in social exchange, Social Networks 34 (3) pp. 333-345
Social status and social capital frameworks are used to derive competing hypotheses about the emergence and structure of advice relations in organizations. Although both approaches build on a social exchange framework, they differ in their behavioral micro-foundations. From a status perspective, advice giving is a means to generate prestige, whereas asking advice decreases one's relative standing. At a structural level these motivations are expected to result in an overrepresentation of non-reciprocal dyads and non-cyclical triadic structures in the advice network, as well as in active advice seekers being unlikely to be approached for advice, especially by active advice givers. From a social capital perspective, advice seeking creates obligations for the advice seeker. At the structural level, this results in an overrepresentation of reciprocal dyads and cyclical triads, and active advice seekers to be unpopular as targets of advice seeking, especially for active advice givers. Analyses of four waves of a longitudinal sociometric study of 57 employees of a Dutch Housing Corporation provide partial support for both approaches. In line with the social capital perspective, we find reciprocal advice relations to be overrepresented at the dyad level. Results at the triad level support the social status arguments, according to which high status individuals will avoid asking advice from low status individuals. The implications for macro-structural properties of intra-organizational advice network are discussed. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Agneessens F, Koskinen J (2016) Modeling Individual Outcomes Using a Multilevel Social In?uence (MSI) Model: Individual Versus Team Effects of Trust on Job Satisfaction in an Organisational Context:, In: Lazega E, Snijders TAB (eds.), Multilevel network analysis for the social sciences. Theory Methods and Applications 12 4 pp. 81-105 Springer
Agneessens F, Waege H, Lievens J (2006) Diversity in social support by role relations: A typology, Social Networks 28 (4) pp. 427-441
Social support is fundamental for social integration and emotional well-being. One aspect of social support that is often the focus of attention is the size of a person's support network. However, additional complex measures of social support are necessary to capture qualitative aspects of support networks, such as the diversity in types of support available from specific types of alters. This paper presents a simple way to acquire this comprehensive information and a condensed way to represent the complexity of a person's support network so this information can easily be included in classic survey analyses. Log-linear latent class analysis is used to construct a typology of ego-centric support networks showing the types of support respondents can expect from alters with a specific role. Depending on the role relation for the five support items, this diversity can adequately be represented by distinguishing 2-4 types of respondents. For the role relation friends, we can differentiate between respondents who expect only companionship from their friends, those expecting emotional support as well as companionship, and respondents expecting no social support at all from their friends. For immediate kin, we find those with only emotional support, those with emotional and instrumental support, those with all types of support, and finally a group of respondents expecting no support at all from immediate kin. The approach presented in this article enables a more detailed measurement of the dimensions of social support contents by managing to compile the diversity by distinguishing types of respondents. Such typologies can easily be used as explanatory variables in subsequent analyses. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
de Klepper M, Sleebos E, van de Bunt G, Agneessens F (2010) Similarity in friendship networks: Selection or influence? The effect of constraining contexts and non-visible individual attributes, Social Networks 32 (1) pp. 82-90
Most research on similarity in friendship networks focuses on clearly visible individual attributes (i.e. attitudes and behaviors) in contexts where choices whom to befriend are relatively unconstrained. These studies often reveal that social selection rather than social influence is the dominant cause of similarity among friends. We argue that in a setting where social collaboration is crucial and friendship choices are more constrained, influence might be the main reason for similarity found among friends. In addition, we examined whether social categorization and peer control amplifies the social influence process among friends. Using a stochastic actor-based model for network dynamics, we analyzed a three-wave dataset of first year Royal Netherlands Naval College officer students on friendship formation and military discipline. The data supports our first hypothesis that students adjust their own military discipline to that of their friends. Contrary to our expectations, we did not find support for the idea that individuals adjust their discipline more to friends who are of the same military specialty, and neither more to friends who exert peer control. We elaborate on these findings in the discussion. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Skvoretz J, Agneessens F (2007) Reciprocity, multiplexity, and exchange: Measures, Quality and Quantity 41 (3) pp. 341-357
We introduce measures and statistical tests for multiplexity and exchange that are modeled on similar ideas developed for reciprocity quite early in the history of social network research. As properties of a multi-relation network, multiplexity, and exchange have almost as ancient a history as reciprocity, but have not been as intensively investigated from a methodological perspective. Multiplexity refers to the extent to which two ties, for example, advice and friendship, coincide over population; that is, do respondents name the same people as friends as the persons they nominate as individuals from who they seek advice. Exchange refers to the extent to which a tie of one type directed from person i to person j is returned by a tie of another type from j to i. We conceive of the current paper as the first part of a two-part paper, wherein the second part explores specific theoretical models for multiplexity and exchange. © Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007.
de Klepper MC, Labianca G, Sleebos E, Agneessens F (2017) SOCIOMETRIC STATUS AND PEER CONTROL ATTEMPTS: A MULTIPLE STATUS HIERARCHIES APPROACH, Journal of Management Studies 54 (1) pp. 1-31 Wiley
We study a population of first year midshipmen within an elite military academy to explore the relationship between individuals? sociometric status (e.g., status conferrals based on positive interpersonal affect and perceived competence, and status degradations based on negative interpersonal affect) and their attempts to directly control their peers? behavior over a year?s time. Results show that multiple informal sociometric status hierarchies develop early in the organization?s life and remain remarkably stable. Control attempts are driven by these status hierarchies: Lower competence status individuals and those who attract negative status degradations are targeted for control by more people early in the group?s life, those relatively free of negative status degradations attempt to control greater numbers of others throughout the group?s existence, while higher positive status is generally unrelated to control attempts. However, control attempts do not lead to higher future sociometric status, suggesting they are not status signals. Findings also show that individuals targeted for control by many others leave the organization entirely.
Agneessens F, Wittek R (2008) Social capital and employee well-being: Disentangling intrapersonal and interpersonal selection and influence mechanisms, Revue Francaise de Sociologie 49 (3)
We argue that sociological explanations proposed within the social capital framework to explain individual well-being are incomplete because they do not differentiate between interpersonal influence and selection mechanisms, on the one hand, and cognitive intra-personal processes, on the other. To this end, three theoretical models of the dynamic interaction between interpersonal trust and job satisfaction will be used to derive and empirically test six hypotheses. First, according to influence mechanisms, an individual's job satisfaction can be the result of the number of sociometric trust choices he or she receives (popularity effect) or the level of job satisfaction of those actors he/she trusts (contagion effect). Second, selection mechanisms postulate that a focal actor will be more likely to develop interpersonal trust in colleagues with a high job satisfaction (attractiveness effect) or with similar levels of job satisfaction as the focal actor (homophily effect). Third, according to intrapersonal spillover mechanisms, a high level of job satisfaction can either facilitate the creation of interpersonal trust relationships (satisfaction spillover effect), or individuals initiating a high number of interpersonal trust relationships can exhibit higher levels of satisfaction (trust spillover effect). To simultaneously test these six hypotheses, longitudinal intra-organizational social network data from a Dutch housing company (n = 57) were used. We found a significant contagion effect, but no support for a popularity effect or either selection effect. Moreover, contrary to what we expected, employees with a low level of job satisfaction were significantly more likely to develop trust relationships with others.
Agneessens F, Everett MG (2013) Introduction to the special issue on advances in two-mode social networks, Social Networks 35 (2) pp. 145-147
Agneessens F, Borgatti S, Everett M (2016) Geodesic based centrality: Unifying the local and the global, Social Networks 49 pp. 12-26 Elsevier
A variety of node-level centrality measures, including purely structural measures (such as degree and closeness centrality) and measures incorporating characteristics of actors (such as the Blau?s measure of heterogeneity) have been developed to measure a person?s access to resources held by others. Each of these node-level measures can be placed on a continuum depending on whether they focus only on ego?s direct contacts (e.g. degree centrality and Blau?s measure of heterogeneity), or whether they also incorporate connections to others at longer distances in the network (e.g. closeness centrality or betweenness centrality). In this paper we propose generalized measures, where a tuning parameter ´ regulates the relative impact of resources held by more close versus more distant others. We first show how, when a specific ´ is chosen degree-centrality and reciprocal closeness centrality are two specific instances of this more general measure. We then demonstrate how a similar approach can be applied to node-level measures that incorporate attributes. When more or less weight is given to other nodes at longer distances with specific characteristics, a generalized measure of resource-richness and a generalized measure for diversity among one?s connections can be obtained (following Blau?s measure of heterogeneity). Finally, we show how this approach can also be applied to betweenness centrality to focus on more local (ego) betweenness or global (Freeman) betweenness. The importance of the choice of ´ is illustrated on some classic network datasets.
Meeussen L, Agneessens Filip, Delvaux E, Phalet K (2018) Ethnic diversity and value sharing: A longitudinal social network perspective on interactive group processes, British Journal of Social Psychology 57 (2) pp. 428-447 Wiley
People often collaborate in groups that are increasingly diverse. As research predominantly investigated effects of diversity, the processes behind these effects remain understudied. We follow recent research that shows creating shared values is important for group functioning but seems hindered in high diversity groups ? and use longitudinal social network analyses to study two interpersonal processes behind value sharing: creating relations between members or ?social bonding? (network tie formation and homophily) and sharing values ? potentially through these relationships ? or ?social norming? (network convergence and influence). We investigate these processes in small interactive groups with low and high ethnic diversity as they collaborate over time. In both low and high diversity groups, members showed social bonding and this creation of relations between members was not organized along ethnic lines. Low diversity groups also showed social norming: Members adjusted their relational values to others they liked and achievement values converged regardless of liking. In high diversity groups, however, there was no evidence for social norming. Thus, ethnic diversity seems to especially affect processes of social norming in groups, suggesting that targeted interventions should focus on facilitating social norming to stimulate value sharing in high diversity groups.

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