Research Overview

Organizational behavior is the study of people in organizations—identifying the critical issues involved in the performance of individuals, teams, groups, and the organization as a whole. Dr. Marineau’s particular emphasis is on social networks—the structure of relationships within the organization, whether it be friendship, advice seeking, or personal conflict. A social network view sees organizations as a nexus of interpersonal relationships, creating a network wherein each individual has a unique pattern of informal or formal social ties. One’s position within this network is a critical predictor of many organizationally relevant outcomes, such as work performance, innovation, creativity, and promotions. Individuals’ social network ties provide resources, such as information, social support, political capital, and power.

The central focus of Dr. Marineau’s research thus far, and his main contribution to the field, has been the study of negative relational ties, such as interpersonal conflict in organizations. His approach combines theory from organizational behavior, sociology, and social psychology within a social network perspective, contributing to scholarship in management and organizational behavior. Specifically, he focuses on answering the questions of when and how individuals might benefit from interpersonal conflict, who is accurate about their own and others’ conflict in the organization, and if it is better to know about your sources of conflict, or if ignorance is bliss. His research has shown that conflict can be beneficial; and, yes, knowing your enemies is an advantage. In addition, leaders are likely to be more accurate about interpersonal conflict than non-leaders.

Research Interests
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Social Networks
  • Interpersonal Conflict
  • Managerial and Organizational Cognition
  • Entrepreneurship/Ecosystems
Current Research

Dr. Marineau was awarded a prestigious two-year grant in Spring of 2016 for $61,083 from the Marion Kauffman Foundation to pursue research investigating entrepreneurship in the Fargo-Moorhead area. It combines his expertise in social network analysis with entrepreneurship. Under this grant he has collected both qualitative and quantitative data from local entrepreneurs and startup community members going back to Summer 2016. He is currently collaborating with other faculty to develop multiple studies, two of which were presented at international academic conferences in 2018 and are preparing for submission to peer-reviewed journals in Fall of 2018.


Dr. Marineau’s research has been published in Social Networks, Group & Organization Management, andJournal of Business and Psychology. He has presented his research at academic conferences around the world, most recently at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, and at the International Network for Social Network Analysis Annual Meeting in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Josh Marineau

Associate Professor of Management
Richard H. Barry Hall, 314
(701) 231-8233


  • Ph.D. University of Kentucky
  • MBA University of Alaska - Anchorage
  • BA University of Alaska - Anchorage


  • Organizational Behavior
  • Negotiations and Conflict Resolution
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