Emotions and Group Ties in Social Exchange

  • Edward J. LawlerEmail author
  • Shane R. Thye
  • Jeongkoo Yoon
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


This chapter presents a general theory specifying how people develop affective ties and commitments to groups. The foundation is research and theorizing about the role of emotion in social exchange. A central question is: When will people in social interaction or exchange attribute emotions felt to a group entity? The group can be a small local entity, a larger organization, or even a nation state. The research documents that positive emotions mediate the effects of social exchange on the formation of affective group ties, in part because people make social unit attributions of their emotions. Moreover, people make social unit attributions especially when they work on joint tasks that generate a sense of shared responsibility. Shared responsibility drives or moderates the interaction-to- emotion-to-group-tie process. Affective group ties enhance group-oriented behaviors and create more resilient social orders than instrumental ties.


Group processes Emotion Social exchange Commitment Collective action Social order 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward J. Lawler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shane R. Thye
    • 2
  • Jeongkoo Yoon
    • 3
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Ewha Womans UniversitySeoulUSA

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