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Strong-tie and Weak-tie relationships

Strong-tie relationships are characterized by frequent interaction and ties (Relationships with other people are called “ties”.) between coworkers, friends, and spouses, and weak-tie relationships are characterized by infrequent interaction and ties between casual acquaintances. According to research in this area, it is more likely that an entrepreneur will get a new business idea through a weak-tie than a strong-tie relationship because strong-tie relationships, which typically form between like-minded individuals, tend to reinforce insights and ideas the individuals already have.

According to Granovetter (1973), the strength of a tie is “a combination of the amount of time, emotional intensity, intimacy, and the reciprocal services that characterize the tie”. Strong-tie relationships enable people to get more resources from their contacts than weak-tie relationships.

Weak-tie relationships are generally only formed for a certain purpose, instead of being a multi-layered emotional relationship’s part. Your corporate mails’ manager is probably your weak-tie. You contact her/him because you require some information from her/him. You generally, do not contact her/him except for that reason or purpose.

Weak-ties can generate great value, but it is generally, the strong-tie relationships that give you a sense of comfort, security, and companionship. Here, strong doesn’t refer to better or more valuable. Strong-tie and Weak-tie relationships, in this perspective, simply refer to different kinds of relationships.

You should build a portfolio based on both strong-tie and weak-tie relationships. Weak-ties can serve you with specific purposes but strong ties are important for dealing with stressful situations. Strong-tie and weak-tie relationships are crucial for our social as well as professional life.

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