UCL School of Management

Research project

Personality and social networks


In contrast to prevailing views that personality doesn't matter in understanding social network advantages, my research shows consistent differences between people in the social worlds they occupy in organizations. For example, high self-monitors (relative to low self-monitors) flexibly adapt their attitudes and behaviors, and skillfully bring others into line with their purposes. Thus, high self-monitors tend to occupy brokerage positions connecting those who are disconnected; and tend to have higher performance and to be promoted faster. One caveat: the occupation of a social network position can be crucial to the emergence of the individual's personality.


Prior to this work, scholars neglected or ignored the possibility that different types of people tended to occupy different social worlds in organizations, with consequences for their performance and careers. This research shows that the personalities people bring to work affect the network advantages they obtain, the performance outcomes they experience, and the career mobility they accomplish.

Selected publications

Balkundi, P., Kilduff, M., & Harrison, D. A. (2011). Centrality and Charisma: Comparing How Leader Networks and Attributions Affect Team Performance. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY, 96 (6), 1209-1222. doi:10.1037/a0024890 [link]
Kilduff, M., Crossland, C., Tsai, W., & Krackhardt, D. (2008). Organizational network perceptions versus reality: A small world after all?. ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR AND HUMAN DECISION PROCESSES, 107 (1), 15-28. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2007.12.003 [link]
Oh, H., & Kilduff, M. (2008). The ripple effect of personality on social structure: Self-monitoring origins of network brokerage. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY, 93 (5), 1155-1164. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.93.5.1155 [link]
Kilduff, M., Chiaburu, D. S., & Menges, J. I. (2010). Strategic use of emotional intelligence in organizational settings: Exploring the dark side. RESEARCH IN ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR: AN ANNUAL SERIES OF ANALYTICAL ESSAYS AND CRITICAL REVIEWS, VOL 30, 30, 129-152. doi:10.1016/j.riob.2010.10.002 [link]
Kilduff, M., & Brass, D. J. (2010). Job design: A social network perspective. JOURNAL OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR, 31 (2-3), 309-318. doi:10.1002/job.609 [link]
Toegel, G., Anand, N., & Kilduff, M. (2007). Emotion helpers: The role of high positive affectivity and high self-monitoring managers. PERSONNEL PSYCHOLOGY, 60 (2), 337-365. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.2007.00076.x [link]
Krackhardt, D., & Kilduff, M. (1999). Whether close or far: Social distance effects on perceived balance in friendship networks. JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, 76 (5), 770-782. doi:10.1037//0022-3514.76.5.770 [link]
Kilduff, M., & Krackhardt, D. (2008). Interpersonal Networks in Organizations: Cognition, Personality, Dynamics and Culture. Cambridge University Press.
KILDUFF, M., & DAY, D. V. (1994). DO CHAMELEONS GET AHEAD? THE EFFECTS OF SELF-MONITORING ON MANAGERIAL CAREERS. Academy of Management Journal, 37 (4), 1047-1060. doi:10.2307/256612 [link]
Burt, R. S., Kilduff, M., & Tasselli, S. (2013). Social Network Analysis: Foundations and Frontiers on Advantage. ANNUAL REVIEW OF PSYCHOLOGY, VOL 64, 64, 527-547. doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143828 [link]

Link to the publication’s UCL Discovery page

Last updated Wednesday, 30 July 2014


Research groups

Organisations & Innovation

Research areas

Social psychology of organizations

Research topics

Group dynamics; Group structure; Interpersonal networks; Intra-organizational networks; Personality; Social network microfoundations