We examine the effect of friendship in triads on retaliatory responses to unfair outcomes that originate from a group member. Drawing on Simmel's classic discussion of relationships in social triads versus dyads, we hypothesized that the effect of unfairness on retaliation between friends is stronger when the third party in the triad is a mutual friend, rather than a stranger. We also draw on social categorization theory to hypothesize that the effect of unfairness on retaliation between strangers is stronger when the third party is a friend of that stranger than when the triad consists of all strangers. Hypotheses were tested in an experiment where participants negotiated with one another in a three-person exchange network. The results supported our hypothesis that between friends, the increase in retaliation was stronger following an unfair deal when third parties were mutual friends, rather than strangers.
social structure, counterproductive behaviors, negotiation, friendship, retaliation
Organizational Behavior and Theory
Strategy and Organisation
Small Group Research
SAGE Publications (UK and US)
GOH, Kenneth T.; KRACKHARDT, David; WEINGART, Laurie R.; and KOH, TK.
The role of Simmelian friendship ties on retaliation within triads. (2014). Small Group Research. 45, (5), 471-505. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: https://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/5309
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