My dissertation, Skill in Interpersonal Networks, focuses on the cognitive and behavioral skills that people use to navigate social networks. In particular, I test whether some people have an advantage in their perceptions of relationships -- Are people who are central in networks more accurate in perceiving the strength of their relationships? (The answer is yes, but what matters more than centrality is how people interact on a daily basis with others at work.) I also study the mental models (relational schemas and scripts) that people use to interact with others; I argue that there is a relationship between a person's experience and embeddedness in an environment and how specific or general his or her mental models are for relationships.
Natalie C. Cotton-Nessler
Department of Management & Organizations
Ross School of Business
University of Michigan
701 Tappan Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
July 12, 2012