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Practical matters How to find us R.P.M. (Rafael) Wittek, Prof Dr

R.P.M. (Rafael) Wittek, Prof Dr

Full Professor
R.P.M. (Rafael) Wittek, Prof Dr
Telephone:
+31 50 36 36469 (Secretariat Sociology)
E-mail:
r.p.m.wittek rug.nl

Sustainable Cooperation

Society’s core institutions – families, communities, organizations, and states – all require cooperation. Research on cooperation is thus of vital importance for virtually all aspects of society. All core institutions are quite frequently confronted with cooperation failures, with gradual or abrupt decline in the ability to jointly achieve desired results. Yet social scientists and policymakers still seem ill-equipped to understand the conditions under which cooperative arrangements will either endure or go into decline. One of the top research puzzles of our time, viz. “How does cooperative behavior develop?” (Science 2005) needs to be taken to the next level of ‘‘What keeps cooperation going, what makes it sustainable over time?” (SCOOP - Sustainable Cooperation: Roadmaps to a Resilient Society)

Research on cooperation has made much progress in successfully explaining what gets cooperation going, and our behavioural models of the motives, cognitions, and emotions that make people cooperate have greatly improved. Much is already known as well on the influence of social networks, and the normative and institutional foundations.

The cumulative evidence provided by recent research stresses the exceptional ability and innate tendency of human beings to cooperate. Some scientists even call humanity “a cooperative species” or a set of “super-cooperators”. However, simply replacing the old strong assumption of a self-interested “homo economicus” with an equally strong opposite conception of a cooperative “homo reciprocans” does not solve the theoretical and empirical problems often encountered in research on cooperation: it only shifts the burden of proof. Two critical questions remain. (1) Why do we often observe far less cooperation in practice than recent research would lead one to expect? And, even more pressing: (2) Why do some cooperative arrangements remain impressively stable, and thrive, whereas others fall subsequently into - sometimes dramatic - decline? Indeed, in certain settings, cooperation creates “virtuous cycles”, in which the joint production of collective goods constantly reinforces participants’ willingness to contribute. In other instances the initial cooperative arrangements may end in self-defeating vicious cycles of mutual distrust, cheating, and indifference towards the collective good. Taken together, these two questions constitute the puzzle of sustainable cooperation, which thus far research and policymaking has neglected and failed to solve. Together with my colleagues from the SCOOP Consortium, I work towards solving some of these problems.

Publications

Labun, A., R. Wittek & C. Steglich (2016). The Co-evolution of Power and Friendship Networks in an Organisation. Network Science 4 (3), 364-384.

Van Veen, K. and R. Wittek (2016). Relational Signalling and the Rise of CEO Compensation. Long Range Planning 49 (4), 477-490.

Sondang Silitonga, M., L. Heyse, R. Wittek (2015). Institutional Change and Corruption of Public Leaders: A Social Capital Perspective on Indonesia. Pp. 233-258 in Decentralization and Governance in Indonesia, edited by R. Holzhacker, R. Wittek, and J. Woltjer. New York: Springer.

Wittek, R. and R. Bekkers (2015). The Sociology of Altruism and Prosocial Behaviour. Pp. 579-583 in International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences (2nd Edition), edited by James Wright. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Wotschack, P., A. Glebbeek & R. Wittek (2014). Strong boundary control, weak boundary control and tailor-made solutions: the role of household governance structures in work–family time allocation and mismatch. Community, Work & Family 17(4), 436-455.

Djundeva, M., M. Mills, R. Wittek, & N. Steverink (2014). Receiving instrumental support in late parent–child relationships and parental depression. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 70(6), 981-994.

Ellwardt, L., C. Steglich, and R. Wittek (2012). The Co-evolution of Gossip and Friendship in Workplace Social Networks. Social Networks 34 (4): 632-633.

Pauksztat, B. & R. Wittek (2011). Who Speaks Up to Whom? A Relational Approach to Employee Voice. Social Networks 33 (4), 303–316.

Wittek, R. and J. Armstrong. (2009). Culture, Cognition, and Conflict. The Case of the Bakiga-Banyoro Conflict in Uganda. Recht der Werkelijkheid (special issue on Legal Anthropology from the Low Countries, edited by A. Boecker, W. van Rossum and H. Weyers), 101-124.

Wittek, R., T. van der Zee, P. Mühlau (2008). Client Acceptance Decisions of Dutch Auditing Partners. Journal of Management and Governance 12, 93-115.

Thau, S., K. Aquino, R. Wittek (2007). An Extension of Uncertainty Management Theory to the Self: The Relationship between Justice, Social Comparison Orientation, and Antisocial Work Behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology 92 (1), 250-258.

Wotschack, P. and R. Wittek (2007). Negotiating Work and Household Demands. Effects of Conflict Management Strategies in Dutch Households on the Labor Supply of Male and Female Employees. Pp. 105-123 in Labour Market Transitions and Time Adjustment over the Life Course, edited by D. Anxo, C. Erhel, and J. Schippers. Amsterdam: Dutch University Press. 

Fetchenhauer, D. and R. Wittek (2006). Solidarity in the Absence of External Sanctions: A Cross-Cultural Study of Educational Goals and Fair-Share Behavior. Pp. 191-206 in Solidarity and Prosocial Behavior. An Integration of Sociological and Psychological Perspectives, edited by D. Fetchenhauer, A. Flache, A. Buunk, S. Lindenberg. New York: Springer.

Wittek, R., M. van Duijn, and T. Snijders (2003). Frame Decay, Informal Power, and the Escalation of Social Control in a Management Team: A Relational Signaling Perspective. Research in the Sociology of Organizations 20, 355-380.

Wittek, R. (2003). Violations of Trust Norms and Strategies of Informal Social Control in Organizations. Pp. 168-195 in The Trust Process Within Organizations: Empirical Studies of the Determinants and Process of Trust Development, edited by B. Nooteboom and F.E. Six. Cheltenham UK: Edward Elgar. 

Wittek, R., and A. Flache (2001). Solidarität am Arbeitsplatz. In: Solidarität, Konflikt, Umwelt und Dritte Welt, H. Bierhoff and D. Fetchenhauer (eds). Opladen: Leske und Budrich, p. 149-182. 

Wittek, R., H. Hangyi, M. van Duijn, and C. Carroll (2000). Social Capital, Third Party Gossip, and Cooperation in Organizations. In: The Management of Durable Relations. J. Weesie and W. Raub (eds). Amsterdam: ThelaThesis.

Wittek, R. (1990). Resource Competition and Violent Conflict: Cross-Cultural Evidence for a Socioecological Approach. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 115, 23-44. 

Status, Reputation, and Gossip

Gossip and reputation management are essential features of society. Their investigation is part of the frontiers of research in at least three scientific domains: the social, the natural and the computational sciences. Understanding the dynamics, evolution and change of gossip and reputation requires a truly inter-disciplinary scientific effort. Together with my colleague Francesca Giardini, we try to solve some of the key questions in this domain: What incites individuals to share third party information with others? Under which conditions will this information be honest? How do social networks and the Internet affect gossip and reputation dynamics and vice versa? How do reputation systems evolve, and how do they affect societal outcomes like coordination, integration, inequality and well-being?

Selection of publications

Grow, A., Flache, A., Wittek, R. (2017). Global Diversity and Local Consensus in Status Beliefs: The Role of Network Clustering and Resistance to Belief Change. Sociological Science, November 6, 2017 DOI 10.15195/v4.a25

Grow, A., A. Flache and R. Wittek (2015). An Agent-Based Model of Status Construction in Task Focused Groups. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (2) 4.

Präg, P., M. Mills, and R. Wittek (2014). Income and Income Inequality as Social Determinants of Health: Do Social Comparisons Play a Role? European Sociological Review 30 (2): 218-229.

Ellwardt, L., C. Steglich, and R. Wittek (2012). The Co-evolution of Gossip and Friendship in Workplace Social Networks. Social Networks 34 (4): 632-

Ellwardt, L., R. Wittek, R. Wielers (2012). Talking About the Boss: Effects of Generalized and Interpersonal Trust on Workplace Gossip. Group and Organization Management 37 (4): 519-547.

Ellwardt, L., J. Labianca, R. Wittek (2012). Who Are the Objects of Positive and Negative Gossip at Work? A Social Network Perspective on Workplace GossipSocial Networks 34 (2), 193-205.

Agneessens, F. and R. Wittek (2012). Where Do Intra-Organizational Advice Relations Come From? The Role of Informal Status and Social Capital in Social ExchangeSocial Networks 34 (3), 333-345.

Thau, S., K. Aquino, R. Wittek (2007). An Extension of Uncertainty Management Theory to the Self: The Relationship between Justice, Social Comparison Orientation, and Antisocial Work Behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology 92 (1), 250-258.

Wittek, R., H. Hangyi, M. van Duijn, and C. Carroll (2000). Social Capital, Third Party Gossip, and Cooperation in Organizations. The Management of Durable Relations. J. Weesie and W. Raub (eds). Amsterdam: ThelaThesis.

Wittek, R. and R. Wielers (2000). Organisatie´gossip´. Pp. 297-320 in Het beste uit Handboek Interne Communicatie, onder redactie van Otto Scholten. Alphen aan den Rijn: Samsom.

Wittek, R., and R. Wielers (1998). Gossip in Organizations. Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory 4 (2), 189-204.

Organizational Change and Administrative Reform

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the number of profit-making enterprises has grown exponentially. These and not-for-profit organizations are key agents in any modern society. From a sociological perspective, this raises two key questions: why do organizations change, and what are the consequences of such change? By now, there is a huge multidisciplinary literature dealing precisely with this dual question of the antecedents and consequences of organizational change. For example, economists have explored corporate governance, psychologists have studied the downsides of downsizing, and sociologists have focused on the institutional forces driving organizational change. Indeed, in business schools, organizational change has been looked at from a wide array of different perspectives: sometimes contradictory, but often complementary. But the sociological rational choice angle is not one of them. Organizational change is a topic that went largely unnoticed in the sociological rational choice tradition. It is not that sociologists are not interested in issues of organizational change—they are. Clear cases in point are the many organizational change analyses in institutional sociology and organizational ecology. The sociological rational choice approach could contribute much to our understanding of the antecedents and consequences of organizational change as well.

The further study of organizational change is promising, and highly needed, also given the largescale organizational changes taking place in the public sector. Since the 1980s, an increasing number of governments around the globe have implemented public administration reforms to improve both efficiency and effectiveness of public services. The goal was to transform public administration structures from a set of overly bu- reaucratized, inward-looking organizations to more open agencies, much more adaptive and responsive to citizens’ needs. In Continental Europe, this trend toward post-bureaucratic reform was reinforced by the convergence criteria of the European Union Treaty of Maastricht. These reforms implied substantial changes in the degree of competition, regulation, and autonomy in the environment of public organizations. I investigate these and related questions together with my colleague Liesbet Heyse.

Selected Publications

Nieto Morales, F., R. Wittek and L. Heyse (2015). Organizational Pathways to Compliant Reform Implementation: Evidence from the Mexican Civil Service Reform. Public Administration 93 (3), 646–662.

Nieto Morales, F., L. Heyse, M. del Carmen Pardo, R. Wittek (2015). Building enforcement capacity: Evidence from the Mexican civil service reform. Public Administration and Development 34, 389–405.

Wittek, R., F. Nieto Morales, P. Mühlau (2014). Evil Tidings: Are Reorganizations more Successful if Employees are Informed Early? Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 66 (1), Supplement, 349-367.

Wittek, R., and A. van Witteloostuijn (2013). Rational Choice and Organizational Change. In: Handbook of Rational Choice Social Research, edited by R. Wittek, T.A.B. Snijders and V. Nee. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.

Nieto Morales, F., R. Wittek, and L. Heyse (2013). After the Reform: Change in Dutch Public and Private Organizations. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 23: 735–754.

Wittek, R. and A. van Witteloostuijn (2004). The Costs and Benefits of Reorganization, Restructuring, and Organizational Change: Flexibility and Inertia Perspectives, and Illustrative Evidence from The Netherlands. The Netherlands Journal of Social Sciences 40 (3), 205- 211. 

Wittek, R., M. van Duijn, and T. Snijders (2003). Frame Decay, Informal Power, and the Escalation of Social Control in a Management Team: A Relational Signaling Perspective. Research in the Sociology of Organizations 20, 355-380.

Organizational Networks

Wittek, R. (2017). Intra-Organizational Networks. In: Encyclopedia of Social Network Analysis and Mining (second edition), edited by R. Alhajj, J. Rokne. New York: Springer.

Labun, A. and R. Wittek (2017). Structural Holes. Encyclopedia of Social Network Analysis and Mining (second edition), edited by R. Alhajj and J. Rokne. New York: Springer.

Wittek, R. (2013). Netwerken in organisaties. In: Völker, B., H. Flap and G. Mollenorst (eds.). Sociale netweken. Vragen, antwoorden en onderzoek. Groningen: Noordhoff Uitgevers, Pp. 55-69.

Ellwardt, L., C. Steglich, and R. Wittek (2012). The Co-evolution of Gossip and Friendship in Workplace Social Networks. Social Networks 34 (4): 632-.

Ellwardt, L., R. Wittek, R. Wielers (2012). Talking About the Boss: Effects of Generalized and Interpersonal Trust on Workplace Gossip. Group and Organization Management 37 (4): 519-547. 

Ellwardt, L., J. Labianca, R. Wittek (2012). Who Are the Objects of Positive and Negative Gossip at Work? A Social Network Perspective on Workplace GossipSocial Networks 34 (2), 193-205.

Agneessens, F. and R. Wittek (2012). Where Do Intra-Organizational Advice Relations Come From? The Role of Informal Status and Social Capital in Social Exchange. Social Networks 34 (3), 333-345

Pauksztat, B. & R. Wittek (2011). Who Speaks Up to Whom? A Relational Approach to Employee Voice. Social Networks 33 (4), 303–316.

Pauksztat, B., M. van Duijn, and R. Wittek (2011). A “Special Attachment”? Voice and the Relational Aspects of Loyalty. International Sociology 26 (4), 524-546.

Pauksztat, B. and R. Wittek (2010). Representative voice in different organizational contexts: a study of 40 departments of a Dutch child-care organization. International Journal of Human Resource Management 22 (10-12), 2222-2244.

Whitmeyer, J. and R. Wittek (2010). Inequalities in Network Structures. Social Science Research 39, 152-164.

Agneessens, F. and R. Wittek (2008). Social Capital and Employee Well-Being. Disentangling Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Influence and Selection Mechanisms. Revue Francaise de Sociologie 49 (3), 613-637.

Van de Bunt, G., R. Wittek, and M. de Klepper (2005). The Evolution of Intra-Organizational Trust Networks, The Case of a German Paper Factory: An Empirical Test of Six Trust Mechanisms. International Sociology 20(3), 339–369.

Wittek, R., G. van de Bunt (2004). Post-Bureaucratic Governance, Informal Networks and Oppositional Solidarity in Organizations. The Netherlands Journal of Social Sciences 40 (3), 295-319.

Wittek, R., M. van Duijn, and T. Snijders (2003). Frame Decay, Informal Power, and the Escalation of Social Control in a Management Team: A Relational Signaling Perspective. Research in the Sociology of Organizations 20, 355-380.

Wittek, R. (2001). Mimetic Trust and Intra-Organizational Network Dynamics. Journal of Mathematical Sociology 25 (1), 109-138.

Wittek, R., M. van Duijn, and T. Snijders (2001). Informele netwerken en sociale escalatie van conflicten in een managementteam. Sociale Wetenschappen 44 (1), 48-67.

Wittek, R., H. Hangyi, M. van Duijn, and C. Carroll (2000). Closed Structures, Open Structures, Stable Structures. Explaining Structural Form and Temporal Stability of Informal Social Networks in Organizations.The Management of Durable Relations. J. Weesie and W. Raub (eds). Amsterdam: ThelaThesis.

Wittek, R. (1999). Closed Structures, Open Structures, Stable Structures. Explaining Structural Form and Temporal Stability of Informal Social Networks in Organizations. Bulletin de Methodologie Sociologique 63, July, 5-28.

Wittek, R., and R. Wielers (1998). Gossip in Organizations. Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory 4 (2), 189-204.

Wittek, R. (1997). Sociaal kapitaal en machtstrategieën in organisaties. Gedrag en Organisatie 10 (6), 357-371.

Health and Well-Being

Oldenkamp, M., Bültmann, U., Wittek, R., Stolk, R., Hagedoorn, M., Smidt, N. (2017). Combining informal care and paid work: The use of work arrangements by working adult-child caregivers in the Netherlands. Health and Social Care in the Community (accepted).

Oldenkamp, M., M. Hagendoorn, R. Wittek, R. Stolk, N. Smit (2017). The impact of older person's frailty on the care-related quality of life of their informal caregiver over time: results from the TOPICS-MDS project. Quality of Life Research (accepted).

Oldenkamp, M., M. Hagedoorn, R. Stolk, R. Wittek, N. Smit (2017). The Lifelines Cohort Study: A data source available for studying informal caregivers' experiences and the outcomes of informal caregiving. Journal of Compassionate Health Care (accepted).

Oldenkamp, M., Hagedoorn, M., Slaets, J., Stolk, R., Wittek, R., Smidt, N. (2016). Subjective burden among spousal and adult-child informal caregivers of older adults: results from a longitudinal cohort study. BMC Geriatrics 16:208.

Oldenkamp, M., R. Wittek, M. Hagedoorn, R. Stolk, N Smidt (2016). Survey nonresponse among informal caregivers: effects on the presence and magnitude of associations with caregiver burden and satisfaction. BMC Public Health 16:480.

Spiegel, T., Wittek, R., & Steverink, N. (2016). What Are the Pathways Linking the Disclosure of a Degenerative Eye Condition in the Workplace and Wellbeing? A Mixed Methods Approach. International Journal of Disability Management, 11, e3, 1–12.

Präg, P., R. Wittek, M.C. Mills (2016). The Educational Gradient in Self-Rated Health in Europe: Does the Doctor–Patient Relationship Make a Difference? Acta Sociologica (accepted).

Klijs, B., E. Kibele, L. Ellwardt, M. Zuidersma, R. Stolk, R. Wittek, C. Mendes de Leon (2016). Neighborhood Income and Major Depressive Disorder in a Large Dutch Population: Results from the LifeLines Cohort Study. BMC Public Health 16:773.

Präg, P., R. Wittek, M. Mills (2016). Subjective Socioeconomic Status and Health in Cross-National Comparison. Social Science and Medicine 149, 84-92.

Ellwardt, L., T. van Tilburg, M. Aartsen, R. Wittek, N. Steverink (2015). Personal Networks and Mortality Risk in Older Adults: A Twenty-Year Longitudinal Study. PLOS One DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0116731

Miharti, S., R. Holzhacker, R. Wittek (2015). Decentralization and Primary Health Care Innovations in Indonesia. Pp. 53-78 Decentralization and Governance in Indonesia, edited by R. Holzhacker, R. Wittek, and J. Woltjer. New York: Springer.

Djundeva, M., M. Mills, R. Wittek, & N. Steverink (2014). Receiving instrumental support in late parent–child relationships and parental depression. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 70(6), 981-994.

Präg, P., M. Mills, and R. Wittek (2014). Income and Income Inequality as Social Determinants of Health: Do Social Comparisons Play a Role? European Sociological Review 30 (2): 218-229.

Stolk, R., Hutter, I. and R. Wittek (2009). Population Aging Research. A Family of Disciplines. European Journal of Epidemiology 24 (11) 715-718.

Agneessens, F. and R. Wittek (2008). Social Capital and Employee Well-Being. Disentangling Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Influence and Selection Mechanisms. Revue Francaise de Sociologie 49 (3), 613-637.

 

Last modified:25 June 2022 2.20 p.m.