The Social Exchange Theory in Relationships

Social Exchange Theory in Social Psychology

The Social Exchange Theory in Relationships

Social exchange theory is a broad social psychological perspective that attempts to explain how human social relationships are formed, maintained, and terminated. The basic premise of this theory is that how people feel about a given interaction or relationship depends fundamentally on the outcomes that they perceive to be associated with it.

More specifically, the perceived costs and benefits that accompany a person’s interactions determine how he or she evaluates them. To the extent that rewards are seen as high and costs are seen as low, a person tends to feel good about a relationship and will stay in it.

If perceived costs increase or perceived benefits decrease, however, satisfaction with the relationship will decline and the person is more ly to end it.

Because social exchange theory is very general in nature, it can be readily applied to understanding a variety of different social relationships and situations.

For instance, social exchange principles can provide insight into people’s business relationships, friendships, and romantic partnerships, among other types of social involvements.

In addition, these principles can be applied to understanding relationships involving individual people or social groups.

Theoretical Background and Principles of Social Exchange Theory

Social exchange theory is the idea that people seek to maximize rewards and minimize costs in any given social relationship. Rewards can consist of anything tangible or intangible that an individual considers valuable.

For instance, business relationships may provide several concrete benefits, such as income or material goods, in addition to several more abstract benefits, such as prestige and a sense of security. Costs include anything that an individual considers to be unrewarding or sees as requiring a significant amount of time or effort.

For example, romantic relationships may involve costs such as shared housework and spending vacations with one’s in-laws (which, for some people, can be extremely unpleasant). Of course, the evaluation of rewards and costs is highly subjective because that which is rewarding for one individual might not be quite as rewarding for another person.

Similarly, that which is considered rewarding in one relationship might not be perceived as rewarding in a different social involvement.

People’s evaluations of perceived rewards and costs influence how satisfied they are with their relationships and the relative stability of those relationships. Satisfaction with a relationship is determined by considering one’s outcome comparison level (i.e., the standard by which one judges his or her current relationship’s outcomes).

For instance, a person may compare his or her current outcomes with those he or she has received in a past relationship of a similar type. So, you might compare how things are going now with your current boyfriend or girlfriend with how things went with past romantic partners.

To the extent that a person’s current outcomes exceed his or her previous outcomes, the person is satisfied with a relationship and desires it to continue. However, if a person’s current outcomes don’t compare favorably to his or her previous outcomes, the person becomes dissatisfied and is less ly to work at furthering the relationship.

People compare their current outcomes not only to past outcomes but also to those that they could be receiving now in other potential relationships (referred to as the comparison level for alternatives).

To the extent that the outcomes people perceive as possible within an alternative relationship are better than those that they are receiving in their current relationship, they are less ly to continue in the current relationship.

Reward-to-cost ratios and comparison levels are subject to change over time, as individuals continually take stock of what they have gained and lost in their relationships.

This implies that relationships that a person found satisfying at one point in time may become dissatisfying later because of changes in perceived rewards and costs. This may occur because certain factors may become less rewarding or more costly over time.

For instance, sex may be extremely rewarding for members of a newly married couple but may become less so as passion and spontaneity decrease over the years.

Finally, people’s perceptions of their relationships also depend on whether the exchanges that occur are viewed as equitable. Equitable or fair exchanges are necessary to avoid conflict between relationship partners.

For instance, assume that there is favorable exchange for all parties involved in an ongoing relationship, but one party is receiving substantially greater benefits than the other. Such a scenario may be perceived as unfair because distributive justice is not present (i.e., outcomes are being distributed unequally).

In this case, individuals with worse outcomes may feel exploited and have negative feelings about their exchange partner, which may ultimately affect how committed they are to continuing the relationship.

Social Exchange Theory Example

A recent college graduate accepts his or her first job with a large corporation because it has an excellent reputation and pays well. At first, the graduate loves the new job. Eventually, however, he or she comes to realize that his or her supervisor does not treat the graduate with respect, and he or she is so overworked that there is little time to enjoy the large salary.

The graduate considers leaving the current job and starting his or her own company. This is seen as desirable because it would allow the graduate to be his or her own boss and set his or her own hours. Then the graduate receives a promotion at work.

No longer having to work as many hours and free from the previous supervisor, the graduate decides to renew the contract with the corporation.

Limitations of Social Exchange Theory

Social exchange theory is limited in some ways. For example, the theory does not address the role of altruism in determining relationship outcomes. That is, people do not always act in self-interested ways (i.e., maximizing rewards and minimizing costs).

For instance, in intimate relationships, people act communally, working for the benefit of their partner or relationship, sometimes even at great cost to oneself. Although evidence for this has been found for romantic relationships, this may not hold for other types of involvements, such as business relationships.

Therefore, although social exchange principles have implications for a variety of different types of social relationships, they may explain some types of relationships better than others.


  1. Blau, P. M. (1964). Exchange and power in social life. New York: Wiley.
  2. Cook, K. S., & Rice, E. (2003). Social exchange theory. In J. Delamater (Ed.), Handbook of social psychology (pp. 53-76). New York: Kluwer.
  3. Homans, G. C. (1961). Social behavior and its elementary forms. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World. Thibaut, J. W., & Kelley, H. H. (1959). The social psychology of groups. New York: Wiley.


Relationships: Social Exchange Theory

The Social Exchange Theory in Relationships

Social exchange theory is one of the so-called ‘economic’ theories of relationships. Economic theories describe relationships as a series of exchanges aiming at balancing rewards and costs.

Social Exchange Theory (SET) Explained

Social psychologists Thibault and Kelly (1959) describe romantic relationships using the economic terminology of profit (rewards) and loss (costs).

They claim that partners in relationships strive to maximise rewards (things companionship, praise, emotional support, sex) and minimise costs (stress, arguments, compromises, time commitments).

Notions of rewards and costs are subjective (what is considered very costly by one person, can be seen as low cost or even a reward by another); costs also tend to change over time (what is considered costly at the beginning of the relationships seems less so as relationships develop).

People also use levels of comparison to assess how profitable their relationships are.

The first level, called Comparison Level (CL), is person’s idea of how much reward they deserve to receive in relationships. This understanding is subjective and depends on previous romantic experiences and cultural norms of what is appropriate to expect from relationships; these norms are reinforced by books, films and TV programmes.

Comparison Levels are closely linked to person’s self-esteem – a person with high self-esteem will have higher expectations of rewards in relationships, whereas a person with low self-esteem will have lower expectations.

People consider relationships worth pursuing if the Comparison Level is equal to, or better than, what they experienced in their previous relationships.

The second level, called Comparison Level for alternatives (CLalt), concerns a person’s perception of whether other potential relationships (or staying on their own) would be more rewarding than being in their current relationship.

According to Social Exchange Theory, people will stick to their current relationships as long as they find them more profitable than the alternatives.

Furthermore, according to some psychologists, such as Duck, if people consider themselves to be content in their current relationships, they may not even notice that there are available alternatives.

According to Thibault and Kelly, all relationships proceed through a series of stages. They are:

  • Sampling stage, where people explore potential rewards and costs of relationships, not just romantic ones, either by direct experience or by observing others.
  • Bargaining stage, which is the first stage of any romantic relationship. At this stage, partners exchange rewards and costs, figure out the most profitable exchanges and negotiate the dynamics of the relationship.
  • Commitment stage: when relationships become more stable, and partners become familiar with sources of rewards and costs, and each other's expectations, so rewards increase and costs lessen.

Research Examining Social Exchange Theory 

Research support for Social Exchange Theory is limited; however, some studies show evidence that supports the main assumptions of the theory. For example, Floyd et al.

(1994) found that commitment develops when couples are satisfied with, and feel rewarded in, a relationship and when they perceive that equally attractive or more attractive alternative relationships are unavailable to them. 

In addition, Sprecher (2001) found that comparison levels for alternatives were a strong predictor of commitment in a relationship and that rewards were important as a predictor of satisfaction, especially for women. 

Evaluation of Social Exchange Theory (SET)

SET is supported by research studies. For example, Sprecher (2001) found that Comparison Levels for alternatives were a strong predictor of commitment in a relationship and that rewards were important as a predictor of satisfaction, especially for women.

these findings, it can be concluded that some people appear to base their evaluation of romantic relationships on rewards and costs (in particular, Comparison Level for alternatives), just as SET suggests.

Therefore, it would appear that some people do stay in their current relationship while it remains more profitable than the alternatives.

Not only is the research support for Social Exchange Theory limited, but it is also often research that lacks mundane realism. The majority of research into SET is studying strangers that are involved in some kind of game-based scenario with rewards and costs variably distributed during the game.

For example, Emerson and Cook (1978) designed a laboratory experiment where each of 112 participants was bargaining with a partner to maximise personal score in a computer game. The ‘relationships’ between these partners are nothing real-life romantic relationships, which are getting to know another person and establishing trust.

As such, these studies lack internal validity, making SET less applicable to real-life romantic relationships.

The Social Exchange Theory key concepts are very difficult to define. The notion of rewards and costs is highly subjective.

For example, one person may find lots of praise from a partner rewarding, but another person could find it annoying, making it difficult to measure.

  In addition, it is not clear how much more attractive alternatives should become, or by how much costs should outweigh the rewards, for the person to start feeling dissatisfied with their current relationship.

Furthermore, SET assumes that from the beginning of a relationship partners keep some kind of tally of profit and loss, and return reward for reward and cost for cost.

Clark and Mills (2011) argue that while this may be true of work interactions between colleagues (exchange relationships), it is rarely the case in romantic (communal) relationships, where rewards are distributed freely without necessarily keeping a score.

More than that, other research findings suggest that it is not a balance of rewards and costs, but rather perceived fairness of relationships, that keeps partners happy and committed to the relationships. This weakens the validity of SET, as it seems that SET can only explain a limited range of social relationships.

Some researchers argue that there is an issue with cause and effect in regards to SET assumptions. Argyle (1987) argues that people rarely start assessing their relationships before they feel unsatisfied with them.

For example, being unhappy in relationships may lead a person to question whether there are more rewards than costs in their relationships and the potential alternatives, but these thoughts occur only after the dissatisfaction is discovered.

This contradicts SET, which assumes that assessing profit and loss is the way in which all relationships are maintained, even happy ones.

On the other hand, SET has many useful real-life applications. One example of this is Integrated Behavioural Couples Therapy (IBCT), during which partners are trained to increase the proportion of positive exchanges in their everyday interactions and decrease the proportion of negative ones, by changing negative behaviour patterns.

According to Christensen et al. (2004) about two-thirds of couples that were treated using IBCT reported that their relationships have significantly improved and they were feeling much happier as a result of it.

This shows that SET can be used to help distressed couples in real life, thus demonstrating its real-world application and benefit for relationships.

Issues and Debates: Social Exchange Theory

SET takes a nomothetic approach to studying relationships, trying to uncover universal laws of how relationships are maintained that would be applicable to all couples.

However, as demonstrated above, the ways in which relationships are maintained vary significantly from couple to couple, so an individually based, in-depth idiographic approach may be better suited to studying the maintenance of romantic relationships.

Another major criticism of SET is its deterministic view of romantic relationships. According to SET, if the costs outweigh the rewards, a person will want to opt a relationship. However, there are many cases where people stay in high-cost relationships (for example, when one partner is chronically ill) without feeling dissatisfied.

As a result, the predictive validity of SET is very limited; it cannot establish with significant certainty whether a person will feel happy or unhappy in a relationship, the costs and rewards they are getting from it.

This undermines the scientific claim of SET, as an ability to predict human behaviour with a degree of certainty is one of the main objectives for psychology to be accepted as a science.

Basing the explanation of such complex phenomenon as romantic relationships purely on costs and rewards makes it reductionist and limits the range of real life romantic experiences it can explain.

For example, SET does not explain why many people stay in abusive relationships despite the lack of rewards and overwhelming costs.

This suggests that a holistic approach to studying romantic relationships may be better suited to explaining the complexity of relationships maintenance.


The Social Exchange Theory and Romantic Relationships

The Social Exchange Theory in Relationships

Angel is currently studying for her A-levels (English, Sociology and Psychology) in the hopes of going to university next year.

The Social Exchange Theory proposes that individuals will decide whether a relationship is worth pursuing after a rational calculation of the costs and benefits. Despite the research to back this up, many researchers claim that although this theory may be used in business, it cannot be applied to romantic relationships.

What This Theory Attempts to Explain About Romantic Relationships

The Social Exchange theory explains why some relationships are long-lasting, and others are not. Thibaut and Kelly assume that social interactions are a series of exchanges; individuals in a relationship hope to earn a 'profit' at as little 'cost' of their own.

  • Rewards in a relationship include companionship, being cared for and sex
  • Costs include financial investment and time wasted

If the rewards are worth the costs, a relationship is long-lasting.

Our comparison level is a product of past experiences in relationships and is used to judge whether the profit of a relationship exceeds our comparison level. Those who have had a series of abusive relationships have a lower comparison level so are more ly to later get into relationships that are abusive or unhealthy because their expectations are low.

The comparison level for alternatives is the extent to which alternatives to one's current partner are more rewarding. If someone else appears to be able to fulfil needs more than a current partner, an individual may choose to leave their relationship.

Kurdek and Schmitt's Research on Romantic Relationships

Kurdek and Schmitt investigated the this theory in an experiment with 185 heterosexual and homosexual couples. Each participant completed a questionnaire.

They discovered that greater satisfaction was associated with the perception of the benefits of their current relationship and the comparison level for alternatives. Meaning that when an individual perceived their current partner to be better than alternatives they were more satisfied with their relationship.

This provides support for the Social Exchange theory across a variety of different relationships (married, cohabitating, heterosexual and homosexual).

Support for the Social Exchange Theory

Supporting research for the comparison level of alternatives was discovered by Sprecher in a longitudinal study of 101 couples.

She found that the exchange variable most associated with commitment within a relationship was the comparison level of alternatives (CLA). In relationships where CLA was high, commitment and satisfaction was low.

For couples with a low CLA, they had a higher level of commitment and satisfaction. These findings support the CLA as a factor influencing relationship success.

An advantage of this theory its the real-world application of Integrated Behaviour Couples Therapy (IBCT). Gottom and Levenson found unsuccessful marriages had a positive to negative exchange ratio of 1:1 compared to 5:1 in successful marriages.

IBCT aims to increase the number of positive exchanges to improve a relationship. Christianson et al treated over 60 couples, 2/3 of which reported significant improvements in relationship quality as a result.

This supports the theory as it implies that when couples increase the rewards, satisfaction increases.

The Limitations of This Theory

A limitation of the Social Exchange theory is that 'costs' and 'benefits' are difficult to measure as they are subjective opinions. What may be considered rewarding for one person, may be unwanted by someone else.

Liltejohn also suggests that in a relationship, preferences may change over time; during the early stages, certain characteristics may be rewarding but can later become a burden.

This challenges the assumption that romantic relationship operates a 'cost and benefit' system.

Another criticism is stressed by Nakonezny and Denton who point out that it is difficult to quantify the value of costs and benefits in a relationship.

This theory is commonly applied to business where costs and benefits can be easily measured in economic terms.

They argue that the theory cannot be applied to romantic relationships due to the difficulty of measuring the value of costs and benefits.

A drawback of the theory is the reliance of an economic approach to relationships; some argue this then ignores other factors that can lead to relationship satisfaction. For instance, an individual's own rational beliefs.

Some may believe that if you have committed to a relationship, you should live with all that it brings. This would mean that regardless of the costs, they would be more committed to remaining in that relationship.

This theory fails to explain individual differences that could influence relationship satisfaction.

To Conclude

Overall, the Social Exchange theory is an evaluation of the costs and benefits of a relationship. If the costs outweigh the benefits then an individual is ly to leave their partner. The comparison level and comparison level for alternatives also affect this choice.

However, 'costs' and 'benefits' are subjective terms and are difficult to measure. For this reason, many criticise the theory. It also ignores other factors that affect relationship success such as age, religion or cultural beliefs.


Cardwell, M., Flanagan, C. (2016) Psychology A level The Complete Companion Student Book fourth edition. Published by Oxford University Press, United Kingdom.

© 2018 Angel Harper

dashingscorpio from Chicago on November 17, 2018:

Excellent point.

Essentially that was what I was alluding to with regard to the fact that what makes for an «ideal mate» at one point in time may not cut it for us later on. Imagine being with someone who constantly cracks jokes and uses sarcasm. In the beginning you may find them «hilarious» . However the longer you're with them they seem too immature. Maybe there's some truth to the old adage:

«Familiarity breeds contempt.»

Ultimately I believe the older we get and more life experience we have we become better at knowing ourselves and what makes us happy over the long term when choosing a mate.

The problem then becomes maintaining the self-discipline to stick to our «must haves list» as opposed to being «impulsive».

Some people say: «Follow your heart.»

Never separate your mind from your heart when making relationship decisions. The purpose of the mind is to protect the heart. (This is probably a better way to approach dating.)

Angel Harper (author) on November 17, 2018:

dashingscorpio, I think one of the most tragic reasons relationships don't last is that characteristics someone once found attractive become annoying over time. Adventurousness at first may seem great but it is later regarded as reckless. Just shows how as we get older our 'requirements' change.

Thank you for reading and commenting your opinion with extensive knowledge on the topic.

dashingscorpio from Chicago on November 14, 2018:

Very interesting.

Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.

Each of us has our mate selection process/must haves list.

Each of us has our boundaries and «deal breakers»

I believe early on many of us allow impulsive connections and happenstance to dictate our relationship choices. Also what makes for an «ideal mate» at age 17 may not be the same traits one wants in a mate at age 25, 30, or beyond.

Very few people want someone who has absolutely nothing going for them self. Everyone has their own «list». For some it starts with physical attributes, for others it comes down to income/wealth and connections, fame, sense of humor, education/profession/status. Others prefer someone who has a similar background.

Having said that some people could care less about the «cost». In fact they are drawn to the «stray dogs» of the world. They enjoy taking on projects, feeling needed, and trying rescue people.


Social Exchange Theory: What It Is And How It Applies In The Workplace

The Social Exchange Theory in Relationships

You may remember learning about social exchange theory in Psych 101. 

Here’s a brief refresher: Social exchange theory says that human relationships and social behavior are rooted in an exchange process. 

In any relationship, people weigh the risks and rewards. When relationships become too risky for folks, they decide to ax them altogether.

Let’s say you have a casual friend that you enjoy hanging out with. This person’s always been struggling to pay their bills and is often unemployed — but doesn’t seem to mind. 

When you go out, you may not mind picking up the tab every so often. But once you notice there’s a clear pattern developing — this person will never, ever, ever open their wallet when it comes time to settle up — you may decide it’s not worth maintaining the friendship if you always have to pay for everything.

Social exchange theory is also applicable to the workplace. In fact, it’s one of the most influential conceptual paradigms in organizational behavior. 

This makes perfect sense because we spend so much of our lives at our jobs. Work is a give and take. Everyone has hit the wall at one point or another and questioned whether sticking around at a company was worth it.

When employees hit that wall and decide to stick around, they’ve obviously determined that — despite everything that’s bad about their job — the benefits still outweigh the risks. On the flip side, employees who decide they’d rather not have a job have decided there aren’t really that many benefits to staying put.

There are all kinds of scenarios where social exchange theory looms large in the workplace. Let’s take a look at eight situations of the social exchange process.

1. Employees work extremely hard but aren’t receiving recognition for their efforts

Even the most hardworking person in the world will be at the end of their rope sooner or later if nobody ever tells them they’re doing a good job. What’s the point in busting your tail if nobody notices? 

According to our research, less than 33% of today’s workers feel valued at their jobs. At any given time, no matter how hard they’re working, as much as two-thirds of your entire staff may feel as though they’re working really hard but not really getting much benefit it.

This is why employee recognition programs are so critical. They don’t have to suck up a lot of time or resources to make a big difference. By recognizing your employees’ hard work on a regular basis, you add more benefits to the social exchange theory equation. 

Plus, they also tend to be happier:

2. Employees deliver their best performance but aren’t paid well for their efforts

The rent doesn’t pay itself. Even if your employees are very prominently recognized for their hard work, compliments and awards can’t be deposited in the bank. 

Yes, recognition is part of the puzzle. But money is usually a much bigger piece. 

According to our report, nearly 25% of employees would take a job somewhere else if it came with a 10% bump in pay. That’s why, as a result of the social exchange process, so many employees give their best performance when they’re promised a raise compared to having no monetary incentive at all.

Since it costs a lot more money to hire new employees than keep existing ones, you’d be wise to recognize your employees’ efforts with cold, hard cash. 

Money is by far not the single best reason for employees to stick with a company. But it sure does help you gain their trust when you deliver the promised salary increase.

3. Employees realize they’re in a terrible atmosphere

Ever had a job that you dreaded showing up to each day? Maybe there was a toxic environment. Maybe some of your coworkers were outright mean to you. 

Whatever the case may be, it’s safe to say that, unless you were making a killing, you probably daydreamed about getting a new job every day.

Believe it or not, coworkers are the number one thing employees love about their jobs, according to our report. Believe it or not, a whopping 62% of employees admit that the culture in their organizations is not a strong one:

When employees reach the breaking point, there’s no turning back. This is why, according to eHow, organizations should do everything within their power to create and nurture a friendly, inclusive environment. 

That includes a stronger focus on helping teams bond, get along, and socialize so they can develop trust in each other and learn to ask for help or share feedback without hesitating. The stronger the relationships between your employees and their coworkers, the better the atmosphere in the office will be.

4. Employees realize they are picking up way too much slack for their coworkers

Even if your workers get along with their colleagues fabulously, there comes a point during the social exchange process where slackers start really getting on the nerves of those who consistently produce. 

Nobody wants to work incredibly hard on a daily basis only to watch their coworkers do nothing — without getting punished for their lack of action.

Rather than letting lazy employees pollute the atmosphere in your office, survey your employees on a regular basis so that they’re able to let you know what’s wrong before it becomes an enormous problem. 

You can also hold regular one-on-one meetings to get this insight. Be prepared to tackle on-point topics and act upon the feedback you get in a timely manner. 

For instance, one-on-one meetings are a perfect opportunity for managers to get a better look inside their teams and spot any challenges or risk zones they need to fix. 

Yet, there are way too many employees who negatively rate their one-on-one meetings or would want them to be improved:

5. Managers have rock-star employees who are the best at what they do, but employees are actually have a hard time following rules

From management’s perspective, hardworking employees who consistently overdeliver and can be relied on to get the job done are obviously desirable. But even the best employees in the world can’t get away with everything.

Managers can’t hold their employees to different sets of standards. There may come a point in time when some of your most highly skilled workers push the envelope a bit too far. 

In the interest of maintaining a happy staff — one where everyone is treated equally — you may be forced to sever ties with talented individuals.

To prevent a situation from ever reaching that point, make sure all of your employees know exactly what’s expected of them. If your rock-star employee is always coming in 90 minutes late and leaving an hour early, let that person know right away that the behavior is completely unacceptable.

6. Though they a product, customers can decide that dealing with a company is too much of a hassle

Customers are not immune to social exchange theory either. 

Imagine a customer is in love with a certain brand. They love everything the brand puts out. The products are well-made and affordable. 

Now imagine a shopper who’s having a customer service issue. They call the company only to be greeted with subpar service that’s quite frankly a bit rude, too.

Rather than continuing to deal with the company, the customer might decide that it’s no longer worth it and take their business elsewhere.

As you can see, social exchange theory plays an enormous role in the workplace and employee engagement. The good news is that managers who understand the theory and actively manage relationships in tune with it are ly to have happier staff and more satisfied customers.

7. Employees are giving their best but managers don’t deliver upon the promised benefits

For years, keeping employees engaged has been something all companies strived for. Now, employee engagement involves cultivating employee-employer trust above all else. 

In particular, you need to deliver upon all of those seemingly tiny things you promised when you first hired someone. This includes offering professional development opportunities, schedule flexibility, monetary benefits that grow along with performance, fun team activities, stipends, and so much more.

When these expectations aren’t met, employees tend to be less engaged at work. As many as 71% of employees feel they don’t get the recognition they deserve. In a workplace this, the first thing that needs to be fixed is companies delivering upon all promised perks to ensure that their team will be able to trust them once again. 

To find out more insights into what your employees truly want and if they think their needs are met, use a tool TINYpulse to send regular employee engagement surveys and get their feedback in real time.

8. Workers voice their opinions and concerns, but these aren’t taken into consideration

A huge part of the social exchange theory in the workplace focuses on the importance of employees voicing their thoughts. 

Similar to delivering upon the benefits you promised, managers are also viewed highly when they actively listen to their employees. 

But above all, individuals want their feedback and ideas to be taken into consideration so they can see a positive change in the workflow and work environment.

It turns out that the majority of employees don’t think performance reviews and even engagement surveys are useful mainly because managers fail to take action these. 

But our research has found that — when conducted according to best practices — pulse surveys alone can help you explain where as much as 70% of employee happiness lies. 

This means you’ll have to ask the right questions and use the feedback to fix issues in a timely manner.

Ready to maintain a healthy social exchange balance at your workplace?

All of the above social exchange principles have hands-on fixes that only require a bit more time and honesty from the employer. 

Don’t promise something you’re not able to deliver upon and never fool employees into thinking that working more than needed or exceeding their past performance will provide them with some kind of benefit.

Maintaining a healthy social exchange balance in any shape or form depends directly on the trust relationship we’re able to build between our organization and every single individual who is part of it. 

All decisions made during these interactions should remain rational and focus on keeping the interests of both parties in a perfect stability. This ensures both the company’s productivity and growth and every employee’s happiness and engagement.

And that adds up to a stronger, healthier business and more satisfied customers.


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