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Networking behaviour, graduate employability: a social capital perspective

Saša Batistic (Department of Human Resource Studies, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)
Alex Tymon (Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 10 April 2017




Drawing on the overarching framework of social capital theory, the purpose of this paper is to develop and empirically examine networking behaviour and employability within the higher education context.


In a sample of 376 full-time business students the authors measured perceived employability, networking behaviour, access to information and resources and job-search learning goal orientation (JSLGO).


The authors found networking is related to increased internal and external perceived employability by boosting access to information and resources. The results also demonstrate that networking is positively related to access to information and resources for low and high JSLGO, the relationship being stronger for those with higher levels.

Research limitations/implications

The results provide an enriched view of individual networking behaviour by offering an indirect model of networking outcomes and to the graduate employability and social capital literatures.

Practical implications

The findings may provide focus for individuals concerned with enhancing their employability and those involved in supporting career guidance.


Obvious beneficiaries are students, for whom employment is a key concern, and universities who face increasing pressure to enhance graduate employability whilst resources to do so are diminishing. To this end the authors highlight activities that may develop networking behaviours and JSLGO.



Batistic, S. and Tymon, A. (2017), "Networking behaviour, graduate employability: a social capital perspective", Education + Training, Vol. 59 No. 4, pp. 374-388.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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