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The past few decades have witnessed a phenomenal progress in our understanding of employee mobility as a critical driver and consequence of various outcomes for…
The past few decades have witnessed a phenomenal progress in our understanding of employee mobility as a critical driver and consequence of various outcomes for individuals, organizations, industries, and economies. In the process, researchers have tackled several important issues in conducting empirical research on employee mobility. This chapter provides a critical discussion of the extant literature focusing on five broad areas: identification of mobility, timing of mobility, outcomes of mobility and their operationalization, model identification, and other related issues. In doing so, this article identifies some of the empirical choices and methodologies adopted in prior mobility studies, evaluates those practices, and suggests areas of improvements for the practice. It is hoped that future studies will benefit from this chapter's insight by building on the best practices from the literature while continuously and successfully tackling the issues that have been challenging the researchers on this increasingly important topic of scholarly inquiry.
The aim of this article is to define a new kind of labor mobility called technological mobility, defined here as the different levels of technological change experienced…
The aim of this article is to define a new kind of labor mobility called technological mobility, defined here as the different levels of technological change experienced by workers as they change jobs over the course of their career. Technological mobility is viewed as a form of career mobility, and it is hypothesized that moving to jobs in higher‐tech industries might prove beneficial to workers' careers irrespective of the level of education or other measures of ability. Factors that determine upward or downward technological mobility are also investigated.
This hypothesis is tested using data from the NLSY79, a nationally representative survey of the United States, between the years 1988 and 2000. Determinants of upward and downward technological mobility are modeled using industry‐level data on technological mobility. Technological mobility is also regressed against wages to measure its impact on careers.
Gender, education and local economic conditions are found to have a significant effect on technological mobility, but the effect varies depending on the way technological intensity is measured. The results also demonstrate that workers who move to high‐tech industries are indeed rewarded with higher wages, even after controlling for education levels and other known factors.
Technological mobility as defined here is an original concept. It is shown to be an important component of overall career mobility. The article also provides an analysis of workers who are able to make the transition into higher‐tech jobs, which is a valuable addition to the research on technological change.
This chapter investigates the relationship between the composition of initial spinout teams and spinout survival. We develop a theory suggesting that spinout founders…
This chapter investigates the relationship between the composition of initial spinout teams and spinout survival. We develop a theory suggesting that spinout founders hiring from their prior firm versus hiring from the external labor market to assemble spinout teams will have differential effects on spinout survival. Using confidential employee–employer linked data in the legal services industry provided by the United States Census Bureau, we find evidence that inclusion of spinout team members from the founder's prior firm is positively related to spinout survival, a relationship which increases with included members' prior earnings. In contrast, we find that inclusion of spinout team members from firms outside the founder's prior firm is positively associated with spinout failure, a relationship which becomes statistically insignificant when included team members' prior earnings are high. Taken together, our results point to the potential hazards associated with using external markets to assemble spinout teams, thereby establishing an important boundary condition for extant theory which has focused on the benefits associated with spinout team size, but has often neglected the labor market strategy through which such teams are assembled.
How is the performance of a knowledge worker affected by the departure of a colleague? While prior research has highlighted the aggregate impact of knowledge worker…
How is the performance of a knowledge worker affected by the departure of a colleague? While prior research has highlighted the aggregate impact of knowledge worker mobility on firms, in this chapter we look inside the firm, to explore the individual-level impact of a coworker's departure on the performance of a remaining employee. We propose that the departure of a coworker can change the remaining employee's access to knowledge, but the implications of such changes will depend on the nature of the coworker's relationship with the employee: the employee's performance will be negatively affected to the extent that the relationship is collaborative, but it will be positively affected to the extent that the relationship is competitive. Moreover, these effects will be magnified to the extent that the employee was dependent on the coworker for knowledge access prior to the move, but weakened to the extent that the relationship persists after the move. Our knowledge-based perspective on coworker departures advances research on employee mobility and knowledge flows by highlighting the variety of changes in knowledge access that may result when a colleague leaves the firm, and illuminating the implications of these changes for the performance of employees who remain behind.
Research on employee mobility has proliferated in the past four decades across four research traditions: Economics, sociology, management, and organizational…
Research on employee mobility has proliferated in the past four decades across four research traditions: Economics, sociology, management, and organizational behavior/human resource management. Despite significant overlap in interest and focus, these four streams of research have evolved independent from each other, resulting in a structural divide. We provide a detailed account of the research on employee mobility and the structural divide across disciplines. We document that the payoff from this profusion of research and increasing interest has been disappointing, as reflected in the limited number of cross-disciplinary citations, even among common topics of interest. However, our analysis also provides some encouraging signs in the form of specific journals and individuals who provide a bridge for cross-disciplinary fertilization.
We examine how knowledge‐intensive firms modify their organizational knowledge bases in the context of mobility of researchers. Building on a dynamic capabilities…
We examine how knowledge‐intensive firms modify their organizational knowledge bases in the context of mobility of researchers. Building on a dynamic capabilities perspective, we propose a conceptual model of firm knowledge base dynamics that clearly distinguishes between two mechanisms: (1) changes in a firm’s pool of researchers and (2) a firm’s ability to reconfigure knowledge. Our model posits that these two mechanisms interact to affect the type of variation in a firm’s knowledge base and elucidates how firms deploy knowledge from different domains.
The high turnover rate of knowledge workers presents a challenge to both organizational and personal knowledge management. Although personal knowledge management plays an…
The high turnover rate of knowledge workers presents a challenge to both organizational and personal knowledge management. Although personal knowledge management plays an important role in organizational knowledge management, empirical research on the practices for its application is underdeveloped. This study aims to examine the role of idiosyncratic job-design practices (i.e. job definition, job autonomy, innovation as a job requirement and lifelong learning orientation) in cultivating personal knowledge management among knowledge workers in organizations, to increase their productivity and safeguard the organization against knowledge loss arising from knowledge workers’ interfirm mobility.
Data were collected from 221 knowledge workers pursuing various knowledge-intensive jobs through a questionnaire survey and were analysed using partial least squares modelling.
The results demonstrated that three job-design practices (job definition, innovation as a job requirement and lifelong learning orientation) have a positive impact on personal knowledge management among knowledge workers and thus improve their productivity. However, job autonomy can affect personal knowledge management negatively.
The findings are confined to a specific context and should be replicated across different contexts for better generalizability in future research.
Organizational managers should pay attention to (re)designing knowledge-intensive jobs to cultivate personal knowledge management by clearly outlining job responsibilities, offering opportunities to add relevant job activities and drop irrelevant ones, and making innovation and lifelong learning a formal job requirement. In addition, job autonomy should be judiciously provided along with sufficient social and network support to avoid lost opportunities in knowledge creation and sharing, and should be linked to job responsibilities and performance appraisals to avoid negative effects.
The high turnover rate of knowledge workers presents a challenge to both organizational and personal knowledge management. This study contributes to the literature by addressing the research gap in two aspects. Firstly, based on Drucker’s theory, this study identifies four idiosyncratic job-design practices (job definition, job autonomy, innovation as a job requirement and lifelong learning orientation) that reflect the distinctive characteristics of knowledge-intensive work. Secondly, this study examines whether and how these practices can cultivate personal knowledge management among knowledge workers, which can support their productivity.
We initiated a conversation between two prominent scholars in the field of employee mobility who come from different disciplinary backgrounds: Rajshree Agarwal (from the…
We initiated a conversation between two prominent scholars in the field of employee mobility who come from different disciplinary backgrounds: Rajshree Agarwal (from the human capital research tradition) and Matthew Bidwell (from the human resource management research tradition). Their cumulative work leads to vastly different conclusions. In this chapter we had an opportunity to explore their differences and share the roots of their motivations, interests, and research philosophies. The discussion provides diverging, yet insightful, directions for future research.
Various aspects of managerial and professional employees in Australia are examined in an attempt to establish if the Australian experience is similar to that reported in…
Various aspects of managerial and professional employees in Australia are examined in an attempt to establish if the Australian experience is similar to that reported in other countries where “management” appears to have emerged as a third force between the employers and organised labour. It is argued that the new style manager is a younger, more highly educated “professional” but that the managerial function is also changing. A survey, conducted in Australia during 1985 of senior executives and 14 large scale organisations from both the public and private sector, provides the basis for this report of the changing characteristics of managerial and professional employees in Australia. Areas explored include the proportion of managers and professionals as a percentage of the labour force; particular characteristics which are emerging; education levels and qualifications; the process governing the movement of managers within the labour market; the effect of recent legislation on remuneration systems; and the degree of union membership among managers.