Birds of a Feather Work Together
Forget about opposites attracting. When it comes to the workplace and the social aspects of our daily lives, we seek out others who share similar views and/or status to our own.
The phenomenon of “like attracting like” in sociological terms is referred to as homophily. Wikipedia defines it as “(love of the same) the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others.”
Sociologists, such as David Knoke at the University of Minnesota, Lynn Smith-Lovin at Duke University, and Mario Luis Small of the University of Chicago, say the evidence of homophily is all around us in social and professional organizations, schools, workplaces, churches and neighborhoods.
Organizations play a powerful role in bringing together people who share similar views.
Prof. Smith-Lovin told the Washington Post that an example could be seen with university professors. Because professionals in this area are strong proponents of education, they are likely to share similar views on areas that are directly related, such as financial aid and research. This set of beliefs, she said, often extends to similar views on other topics, such as government and activism.
Discussion Questions: Do you see the conscious or subconscious “love of same” as being an impediment or impetus to retail performance? In what ways does
homophily positively or negatively affect the running of a retail business?
- Why Everyone You Know Thinks the Same as You – Washington
Post (free reg. required)
- Homophily – Wikipedia