The Strength of Weak Ties in Networks
The strength of weak ties is one of the oldest and most influential theories in the field of network science. This infographic explains the key points of this interesting concept. Created by Mark Granovetter in 1973, he suggested that, contrary to popular belief, we receive jobs and opportunities through acquaintances (weak ties) rather than our close friendships. Strong relationships usually form with those who we interact with frequently, frequent the same social circles, and think about the world similarly. It is the weak relationships that open us up to new people, organizations and ideas.
Applied to network-building, the theory of weak ties provides guidance on how to think strategically about the ties we create and cultivate to build more diverse and therefore helpful networks and collaborations. We only have a limited number of relationships that we can build and manage. With that in mind, networks with more weak ties leads to more diversity, creative problem-solving, and unique resources than those with a larger number of strong ties.
We also have a great blog applying the strength of weak ties to your networking efforts, which you can read here.
For more info about the theory, you can read his original publication presenting the theory here.