Edward J. Lawler

Martin P. Catherwood Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Professor of Sociology

Professor Edward Lawler’s research interests are group processes, social exchange, power, emotion, and bargaining/negotiation. His current research is on the role of emotions and emotional/affective processes in the development of commitment in social exchange. He has developed and tested a theory of rational cohesion (with Shane Thye and Jeongkoo Yoon) that explains how commitment develops in dyadic exchanges and extended that theory to the network level. He recently developed a general “affect theory of social exchange” that will shape his future research. His main goal is to understand how and when social exchange processes generate micro order and solidarity.

Expertise

  • Group processes;
  • social psychology;
  • organizations;
  • social exchange;
  • negotiations

Current Research Interests

Role of emotions and emotional/affective processes in the development of commitment in social exchange; a theory of rational cohesion (with S. Thye and J. Yoon) that explains how commitment develops in dyadic exchanges, with applications to the network level; development of a general “affect theory of social exchange” to understand how and when social exchange processes generate micro order and solidarity

Selected Publications & Presentations

  • “An Affect Theory of Social Exchange.” American Journal of Sociology 107.2, September 2001. Pp. 321-54.
  • (With Shale R. Thye and Jeongkoo Yoon) “Emotion and Group Cohesion in Productive Exchange.” American Journal of Sociology 106.3, November 2000. Pp. 616-57.
  • (With Shane R. Thye) “Bringing Emotion into Social Exchange Theory.” Annual Review of Sociology 25, 1999. Pp. 217-44.
  • (With Jeongkoo Yoon) “Network Structure and Emotion in Exchange Relations.” American Sociological Review 63, 1998. Pp. 871-94.
  • (With Jeongkoo Yoon) “Commitment in Exchange Relations: Test of a Theory of Relational Cohesion.” American Sociological Review 61, 1996. Pp. 89-108.
  • (With Jeongkoo Yoon) “Power and the Emergence of Commitment Behavior in Negotiated Exchange.” American Sociological Review 58, 1993. Pp. 465-81.
  • (With Cecilia Ridgeway and Barry Markovsky) “Structural Social Psychology: An Approach to the Micro-Macro Problem.” Sociological Theory 11, 1993. Pp. 268-90.
  • “Affective Attachments to Nested Groups: A Choice Process Theory.” American Sociological Review 57, 1992. Pp. 327-39.
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“Actors do not behave or decide as atoms outside a social context ... Their attempts at purposive action are instead embedded in concrete, ongoing systems of social relations.”— Mark Granovetter