Mobility processes, the routines that organizations use to move employees into and across jobs, are a critical determinant of the way that human capital is allocated within organizations and careers developed. Most existing work on these mobility processes has examined processes in which mobility is tightly coupled to the filling of vacancies. There is substantial evidence, though, that many organizations adopt very different processes for managing mobility. In this theory chapter, I compare vacancy-based, “job-pull” systems with alternative, “person-push” systems in which mobility is keyed to employees' attainment of performance and skill thresholds to explain how and why mobility processes vary. I identify two, inter-related dimensions along which mobility processes vary: whether their decision processes emphasize the need to match employees to tasks versus providing predictable rewards; and whether the system of jobs that people move between prioritizes flexibility or control of agency costs. I use these dimensions to predict when organizations will adopt different mobility processes, and how those processes will affect employees' mobility.
Bidwell, M. (2020), "No Vacancies? Building Theory on How Organizations Move People across Jobs", Tzabbar, D. and Cirillo, B. (Ed.) Employee Inter- and Intra-Firm Mobility (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 41), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 153-174. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0742-332220200000041009Download as .RIS
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