What Impact Do Contacts Have In Business Networking?

A recent study I conducted together with Vera Sauer (311 participants) finds that people whose Xing contacts are perceived to be of high status are attributed higher values of task-orientation. Also, people attribute a higher hiring probability. Men are evaluated to be more task-oriented and competent in general. While the status of contacts listed in the contact section of the Xing profile is relatively unimportant for the evaluation of men, it is all the more important for the evaluation of female applicants. If participants considered the status of the woman’s contacts to be higher (than the status of the profile person), a higher degree of competence and task-orientation, i.e. leadership relevant traits, are attributed.

Less Is More In Business Networking?

In a recent study conducted with Maria Kovtunenko we find that female Xing profile owner are considered warmer and more person-oriented than male profile owner. Also, there was an interaction effect of the profile person’s gender and the amount of information provided in the profile with regard to perceived task-orientation and competence. Men were ascribed higher values of competence and task-orientation when they listed summarizing (but redundant) information in the section “Haves”, while women were perceived as more competent and task-oriented when they did not have redundant information in the profile.