The social exchange perspective seeks to acknowledge, understand and predict the dynamics of social interactions. Empirical research involving social exchange constructs have grown to be highly technical including confirmatory factor analysis to assess construct distinctiveness and structural equation modeling to assess construct causality. Each study seemingly strives to assess how underlying social exchange theoretic constructs interrelate. Yet despite this methodological depth and resultant explanatory and predictive power, a significant number of studies report findings that, once synthesized, suggest an underlying persistent threat of conceptual or construct validity brought about by a search for epistemological parsimony. Further, it is argued that a methodological approach that embraces inherent complexity such as activity systems modeling facilitates the search for simplified models while not ignoring contextual factors.