Employee social liability – more than just low social capital within the workplace
We describe a construct termed employee social liability (ESL); the antithesis of employee social capital. A conceptualisation of social liability does not yet exist and is the aim of this paper. We propose that ESL arises from workplace social networks and comprises four distinct components: negative behaviour from others, distrust of others, unwanted social demands on resources, and a lack of reciprocity. Social networks therefore include relationships that build an employee’s social capital, others that create social liabilities and some relationships that might do both. An individual can therefore have high or low levels of capital and many or few liabilities. We propose that employees with high social capital, and relatively few social liabilities, should also have improved well-being and performance outcomes.