The Reconnection Process:Mobilizing the Social Capital of Dormant Ties

Rondi, Emanuela and Levin, Daniel Z. and De Massis, Alfredo (2023) The Reconnection Process:Mobilizing the Social Capital of Dormant Ties. Organization Science. ISSN 1047-7039

Text (OS_DEF)
OS_DEF.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (798kB)


Prior research has identified the value of reconnecting dormant ties (i.e., people you used to know), allowing individuals to refresh relationships and mobilize the value inherent in a tie (i.e., its social capital). However, less well understood is how this reconnection process occurs, including how it can be done well or poorly. To address this lack of knowledge, we conducted multi-organizational research combining an inductive, qualitative field study of professional reconnections by individuals in the North Italian textile district (Study 1) and, to validate our findings, a vignette-based experiment with U.S. workers (Study 2). We find that the process of reconnecting dormant ties can and does fail, sometimes dramatically, when people do not refresh the tie and, as a result, do not trust where they stand with each other. Specifically, we find that three elements—remembering, catching up, and perceiving the tie similarly—are key to successfully mobilizing the value of a dormant tie.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Organization Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
16 Jun 2023 10:50
Last Modified:
18 Sep 2023 02:14