An organization that transmits opinion to newcomers

Abstract : We aim to identify the conditions under which social influence enables emergence of a shared opinion orientation among members of an organization over time, when membership is subject to continuous but partial turnover. We study an intra-organizational advice network that channels social influence over time, with a flow of joiners and leavers at regular intervals. We have been particularly inspired by a study of the Commercial Court of Paris, a judicial institution whose members are peer-elected businesspeople and are partly replaced every year. We develop an agent-based simulation of advice network evolution which incorporates a model of opinion dynamics based on a refinement of Deuant's relative agreement", combining opinion with a measure of "uncertainty" or openness to social influence. We focus on the effects on opinion of three factors, namely criteria for advisor selection, duration of membership in the organization, and new members' uncertainty. We show that criteria for interlocutor choice matter: a shared opinion is sustained over time if members select colleagues at least as experienced as themselves. Convergence of opinions appears in other congurations too, but the impact of initial opinion fades in time. Duration has an impact to the extent that the longer the time spent in the group, the stronger the possibility for convergence towards a common opinion. Finally, higher uncertainty reinforces convergence while lower uncertainty leads to coexistence of multiple opinions.
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Submitted on : Friday, July 16, 2010 - 6:12:45 PM
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Juliette Rouchier, Paola Tubaro. An organization that transmits opinion to newcomers. 2010. ⟨halshs-00503193⟩

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