The Nature of the Social Gift in the Age of Digitalization

  • Mikhail Y. Zakharov
  • Irina E. StarovoytovaEmail author
  • Anastasiya V. Shishkova
Part of the Studies in Systems, Decision and Control book series (SSDC, volume 282)


The purpose of the study is to analyze various approaches to understanding the nature of gift giving, revealing the characteristics of a social gift as an important resource for establishing and strengthening business and informal relations between partners for optimizing corporate efficiency. The authors of the paper relied on the contemporary foreign and domestic scientific literature on the researched topic. The paper shows that a social gift is a non-verbal means of communication, a carrier of encoded information about the giver, the recipient and the gift situation itself, aimed at establishing, maintaining, and strengthening long-term social ties. The authors note the significant differences between a social gift in its goals and objectives and a bureaucratic gift considered as a social and bureaucratic bribe. The authors of the paper demonstrate that along with the positive aspects of social donation, negative aspects are inevitable, including an increase in the moment of uncertainty, non-guaranteed positivity of the consequences of the gift. The novelty of the study lies in the fact that the main trends in the modernization of social gift in the digital age are identified. First, a social gift is based on new norms, standards, and values. Second, the non-utilitarian significance, informal character, and emotional coloring of a social gift in the digital age is growing. Third, the exchange of social gifts in a networked society is nonequivalent. Fourth, there are new forms of social gifts (virtual gifts, digital gifts). Fifth, specialists in the field of human resources management are faced with new problems: difficulties in algorithmizing and digitalizing a gift, the risks of being too open in connection with the distribution of gifts on the Internet, and the risk of losing the national-cultural component of a social gift. The paper may be interesting and useful to specialists in the field of personnel management, everyone interested in the transformations taking place in the digital society.


Social gift Social bribe Digital gift Digitalization Social communication 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mikhail Y. Zakharov
    • 1
  • Irina E. Starovoytova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anastasiya V. Shishkova
    • 1
  1. 1.State University of ManagementMoscowRussia

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