Multidimensional Understanding of Tie Strength

An article “The weakness of tie strength” in the current issue of Social Networks unpacked three elements related to the strength of ties: capacity, frequency, and redundancy. The case with an email network shows that the three elements are not highly correlated and are likely to reflect different dimensions of ties. This multidimensional view may explain some unexpected empirical findings. For example, Garg and Telang (forthcoming in Management Science) found that strong ties in online social networks play a significant role in job search and weak ties are ineffective. Weak ties may generate some job information, but only strong ties lead to actions such as referrals.