Importance of a Reciprocal Social Structure

ong>What is A Reciprocal Social Structure?

A Reciprocal Social Structure is often used to define companies or organizations where the leadership, labour and stakeholders all have an interdependent interest in the company. Decisions that are made in the organization affect the stakeholders, employees, chief officers and stockholders.

Why is it important?

Reciprocity between members of an organization despite role allows for consequences and rewards to be shared throughout the organization on an equal ground. Although growth can be at a much slower pace, risk is often averted or decreased when decision makers are affected as much as lower level officers and employees.

Lower level employees often work at higher productivity rates when a RSS structure is present due to increased risk on their part. All individuals in the organization become naturally vested through the RSS structure regardless of pay or rank advancements.

Organizations in favor of RSS

Companies and organizations that favor Reciprocal Social Structure tend to be employee owned or in favor of high benefits for employees and lower level organization members. Netflix uses a RSS structure to allow for unlimited vacation time for all employees without condemning long absences or vacations. This structure has made them a popular employer for soon to be mothers and individuals with families that are sick needing longer terms of care.

Google is another organization that allows employees to come and go as they please offering free food, sleeping areas, exercise rooms, theaters and more for their employees. By investing in the physical enjoyment of their employees they create a “employee vested” culture that allows for increased productivity and overall employee happiness.

Organizations Opposed to RSS

Organizations that oppose a Reciprocal Social Structure often do so because of issues with employees that have high turn over and need for distance between management and employees.

Most unions oppose a Reciprocal Social Structure due to the need to have oversight over employees with the option to employ some but not all at any given time.

Companies in Right To Work states also have a high lean against RSS structures due to the need to let go of employees regardless of issues being because of the upper level management or the employees.

Reciprocal vs Non-Reciprocal Structures

Reciprocal Social Structures are much more popular with lower level staff than non-reciprocal structures. Upper management on the other hand favors the non-reciprocal structures much more than the RSS.

The reasoning behind this is due to the consequences involved for everyone vs. lower level employees. With consequences facing the upper management they are more involved in less risk taking than the other options. This is good for the company and employees but often bad for the bottom line and stakeholders who expect a large return.

Companies that meet in the middle usually have controls in place to monitor upper level management to ensure consequences that affect the entire company not just the lower level employees.


Reciprocal Social Structures allow for reciprocity between lower level, upper management and stakeholders. It curbs risk while increasing loyalty throughout organizations. It is not widely popular due to fairness between supposed earned higher level jobs and intro positions that are much easier to achieve. As of 2016 it is becoming a more popular structure for companies.