"It's all about who we know," right? Well, not quite. In today's connected age, we do not need to look far to see that social relations are critical to our personal success and wellness, yet we rarely look far enough to understand just why and how social network help or impede us. Most of us are surprisingly oblivious of the sheer range of benefits our networks can provide, unaware of how networks constrain opportunities and potentials, and generally clueless about what our own networks even look like. Who finds better jobs? Where do good ideas come from? And why do superheroes always win?
This course has two goals. Students will learn what kind of networks facilitate personal and organizational success, including earlier promotion, higher salaries, and innovation. Second, students will learn to diagnose their own networks using a set of hands-on tools and exercises and develop interpersonal skills toward building productive social relationships.
Professor Kuwabara's research and teaching interests are in the area of social exchange and social networks, focusing in particular on structural aspects of social interactions and relationships that promote or undermine interpersonal trust. One stream of his research considers how and when trust develops between individuals and groups and in different cultures (e.g. the U.S. vs. Japan). More recently, he has...