Do you know what outcomes are attained though social networks? Today I will describe several of these outcomes and I will describe three outcomes realized to one entrepreneur in my environment. According to Lin (1999) there are two types of outcomes as returns to social capital: instrumental and expressive. In instrumental actions, the return is the gaining of added resources, and those resources are not presently possed by ego’s, like (higher) education, status or prestige, promotion or salary increase, and job performance (Lin, 1999). Expressive outcomes are described as: the return is the maintaining of possessed resources, like (mental) health, social support and accompaniment (Lin, 1999). Simply said, expressive outcomes are the protection and maintenance of your resources, and the instrumental outcomes are added resources.
Now that I have explained the two types of outcomes, I would like to introduce you to Marieke, an entrepreneur in my environment. Marieke is not her real name, but I made it up to guarantee her anonymity. Marieke has a company where you can order postcards online. They offer handmade postcards for diverse occasions, and there is a pack of tea added to the postcard to increase the experience of the receiver. I asked Marieke if she could mention organizational outcomes with the help of their social network. Marieke answered that she did had a lot of help at administration and legal problems because of her network, and she also noted that people are honoured when you ask for their advice or ideas. This outcome can be described as an instrumental outcome, because this outcome is an added resource. Marieke also mentioned a second outcome. She founded the company with a friend and she had a lot of social support from her and that she got a lot of psychological satisfaction from their entrepreneurial action. She thinks it is special that you have an idea and that it can become reality, and they also experience a much gratitude of clients which leads to the satisfaction. This outcome can be described as an expressive outcome, since social support is the protection and maintenance of your resources.
I observe that her friend was a very helpful networkmember and social resource, because she gave Marieke social support. If the social support of her friend was not available, I speculate that Marieke didn’t had so much psychological satisfaction, because then she would had to run the business alone, with all the pressure that comes with it.
Floris den Boer
Lin, N. (1999). Building a network theory of social capital. Connections, 22(1), 28-51.