Social exchange theory (SET) is one the most influential conceptual paradigms in organizational behavior. Social exchange theory is a model for interpreting society as a series of interactions between people that are based on estimates of rewards and punishments. Homans, Blau, and Emerson were the key theorists who developed the original theories of social exchange. An important criticism of social exchange theory; however, is that it lacks sufficient theoretical precision, and thus has limited utility.
Despite its usefulness, theoretical ambiguities within SET remain. 335-362 Published by: Annual Reviews This theory is based on the assumption that people only act individually, and ignore group decisions. According to the Social Exchange theory, with each interaction an individual has with another, that individual attempts to maximize the positive outcomes and minimize the negative.

The theories that have been developed in recent decades have focused on the social structures created by repeated exchanges and the ways in … According to this view, our interactions are determined by the rewards or punishments that we expect to receive from others, which we evaluate using a cost-benefit analysis model (whether consciously or subconsciously).
This chapter presents an overview of the main theories of social exchange focusing on the key contributors in sociology, including George Homans, Peter Blau, Richard M. Emerson and those whose work subsequently built on their original formulations.

Theoretical and empirical developments include the extension of their work to the analysis of power and dependence, social networks, reciprocity, fairness, social cohesion, and solidarity. Social exchange theory is one of the major theories of social interaction in the social sciences. Examples As a consequence, tests of the model, as well as its applications, tend to rely on an incompletely specified set of ideas. The authors address conceptual difficulties and highlight areas in need of additional research. This theory explains how humans view their relationships with others in accordance with the assumption of human self is to: the balance between what is given to the relationship and what is excluded from that relationship. 2 (1976), pp.

Social exchange theory is one of the most prominent conceptual perspectives in management, as well as related fields like sociology and social psychology. Criticisms of the Theory The social exchange theory attributes a selfish motive to all actions, by assuming that all decisions are taken rationally. Social Exchange Theory Author(s): Richard M. Emerson Source: Annual Review of Sociology, Vol.