It is also used quite frequently in the business world to imply a two-sided, mutually contingent and rewarding process involving transactions or simply exchange. He defined social exchange as the exchange of activity, tangible or intangible, and more or social justice history theory and research pdf rewarding or costly, between at least two persons. After Homans founded the theory, other theorists continued to write about it, particularly Peter M. Emerson, who in addition to Homans are generally thought of as the major developers of the exchange perspective within sociology.
Homans’ work emphasized the individual behavior of actors in interaction with one another. Although there are various modes of exchange, Homans centered his studies on dyadic exchange. John Thibaut and Harold Kelley are recognized for focusing their studies within the theory on the psychological concepts, the dyad and small group. Success proposition: When one finds they are rewarded for their actions, they tend to repeat the action. Stimulus proposition: The more often a particular stimulus has resulted in a reward in the past, the more likely it is that a person will respond to it. The more often in the recent past a person has received a particular reward, the less valuable any further unit of that reward becomes.
Homans focused on reinforcement principles which presuppose individuals base their next social move on past experiences. Blau’s utilitarian focus encouraged the theorist to look forward, as in what they anticipated the reward would be in regards to their next social interaction. Blau felt that if individuals focused too much on the psychological concepts within the theory, they would refrain from learning the developing aspects of social exchange. Blau emphasized technical economic analysis whereas Homans concentrated more on the psychology of instrumental behavior. Richard Emerson’s early work on the theory intertwined with both Homans and Blau’s ideas. Homans believed that social exchange theory was based on reinforcement principles. According to Emerson, Exchange is not a theory, but a framework from which other theories can converge and be compared to structural functionalism.