May 22, 2024

What is weak tie theory? – TechTarget Definition

5 min read


What is weak tie theory?

Weak tie concept is the proposition that acquaintances are possible to be a lot more influential than near good friends, specifically in social networks.

Wherever did the weak tie idea originate?

The weak tie idea originated as a notion in sociology that explains the role of weaker social ties in facilitating interaction and info trade.

It was 1st released by Mark Granovetter in his 1973 paper, “The Energy of Weak Ties,” in which he argued that, when strong ties (i.e., shut relationships with friends and family) are vital for psychological support, weak ties (i.e., more distant or relaxed relationships) are much more beneficial in conditions of furnishing accessibility to new details and chances.

In accordance to the weak tie theory, an individual’s solid ties are generally composed of persons who are equivalent to them in terms of demographics, values and pursuits. These folks are likely to share a great deal of the similar data and resources, and as a final result, they are not possible to be sources of novel or varied details.

In distinction, weak ties are generally composed of individuals who are significantly less like us and who have access to diverse social circles and networks. As a end result, they are additional possible to be sources of novel and assorted details, which can be particularly worthwhile for persons hunting to come across a new position or pursue new chances.

Applications for the weak tie theory in interpersonal associations

1 of the important programs of weak tie theory is in the realm of interpersonal associations. In particular, it implies folks ought to make an effort and hard work to cultivate weak ties in get to achieve entry to new info and chances.

This can be especially significant for people today who are looking to advance their professions or go after new ambitions, as weak ties can deliver valuable insights and introductions that may well not be available by sturdy ties on your own.

Purposes for the weak tie principle in the business

In the organization, a division or a task group could be thought of a group of strong ties. In accordance to weak tie concept, encouraging intergroup interaction and collaboration is probable to enhance the dissemination of concepts and info and promote creative imagination and innovation.

Building far more connections among staff will increase the movement of suggestions — and that is especially true for staff members that have no apparent want to converse.

Advertising the creation of weak ties may well deliver profits-generating opportunities, value-reducing methods, recommendations for productiveness enhancement and advancements in products improvement, amongst infinite other choices.

Apps for the weak tie theory in social media

Weak tie concept also has vital implications for social media sites, these as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, which can serve as strong applications for constructing and maintaining weak ties.

For illustration, LinkedIn is a social media system built to assistance experienced networking, and it allows people today to hook up with a huge array of folks in their industry, together with both equally potent and weak ties. By actively using LinkedIn and other social media providers to make weak ties, people can attain access to new facts and chances that may possibly not have been readily available to them usually.

social media for business
Weak tie principle has substantial implications for social media websites, these kinds of as Fb, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Other apps for the weak tie theory

In addition to its apps in interpersonal associations, the company and social media, weak tie theory has also been used to understand the distribute of information and facts and ideas inside of social networks.

According to the principle, weak ties are extra probably to facilitate the unfold of novel and assorted information, as they are extra most likely to be related to different social circles and networks. This can be particularly significant in periods of disaster when it is vital for persons to have accessibility to exact and up-to-day info.

Weak tie concept has also been used to the review of social actions and political activism. In particular, it has been utilised to explain how social actions and political strategies can obtain traction and unfold as a result of weak ties, as these ties are far more very likely to join persons to unique social circles and networks.

So, are strong ties negative?

Robust ties aren’t negative for every se, but mainly because networks of solid ties are self-limiting, they can guide to what is sometimes called a filter bubble, a restriction of information, info and ideas that success from items like research personalization and retaining connections mainly in just homogenous teams of people today.

The limitation can stem from affirmation bias, which is the human tendency to request out resources of details that guidance our present viewpoint and beliefs. A more substantial social community, like many weak ties, on the other hand, is likely to problem that tendency and assistance critical thinking.

Check out the 3 pillars of prosperous collaboration in the office, learn approaches to place disinformation on social media, see the distinctions amongst generalists vs. specialists and check out why the co-innovation partnership design emerges as ideal practice.


Supply link The concept of weak tie theory is at the intersection of sociology and social media research and it deals with the dynamics that are associated with being connected to different levels of acquaintances within a network. Essentially, weak tie theory is the idea that expressing and sharing with individuals who are considered ‘weak ties’ can be beneficial to network growth and success.

The term ‘weak tie’ has first been coined by sociologist Mark Granovetter in his 1973 book ‘The strength of weak ties’. According to Granovetter, weak ties are important in gaining access to new information, resources, and opportunities. Weak ties are people who are connected to each other, but not to the same degree that they are connected to other people in the network. Therefore, they exist as bridges between different networks, thus helping mitigate the strength of strong ties.

The concept of weak ties dates back to the study of interpersonal ties done by Granovetter and his contemporaries in the 1970s. However, it can be applied to most social networks, from Twitter to Facebook. Weak tie theory predicted that individuals with weak ties will be more helpful than those with strong ties since they can access new information, resources, and contacts from a variety of sources. As a result, this facilitates the spread of data, resources, and opportunities.

Weak ties are not only beneficial to individuals; they can be beneficial to organizations as well. By connecting to individuals who have different experiences and skills, organizations can gain new knowledge, contacts, and resources. It can help them build better business relationships and create new opportunities.

In summary, weak tie theory suggests that connecting with individuals outside of our close circles can be beneficial to networking growth and success. It provides an opportunity to access new information, resources, and contacts and can help individuals and organizations build better relationships.