Theories Relating to Networking


Networks are an important part of both our personal and professional lives. People need other people for many different reasons.   Affiliation provides us with ‘a network of support that will help us when we are in need’ (Crisp and Turner 2007, pp266), it is a social process that satisfies a psychological need. Forming close relationships is a fundamental part of our lives for reproduction and survival. Communities survive better than individuals.   In a professional context developing networks can help your career development, improve your sense of self-worth and make your working life more enjoyable through interaction with others.
When prompted with the question ‘Why would experienced practitioners who are perhaps at their desired level of affiliation wish to help out younger less experienced individuals?’ I began to think about what the benefits were for them in them doing this.   I came to the conclusions that it is important for knowledge to be passed on so that we can educate the next generation, pass on our skills and continue to improve. No one will live forever so we must pass on our knowledge in order for learning to progress and be on-going. If everyone kept their knowledge to themselves then we wouldn’t know half of the things that we do today.
I also think it gives you a sense of pride and achievement if you are in the position of helping out less experienced people than yourself, it would promote feelings of satisfaction and self-worth.
Also experienced and knowledgeable individuals were not always that way therefore they themselves must have been helped at some point and so could feel it only right to now give something back and help out others.


The concept of cooperation is very interesting,   Robert Axelrod shows it very clearly in his ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma game, ‘The game allows the players to achieve mutual gains from cooperation, but it also allows for the possibility that one player will exploit the other, or the...