Séminaire KTO-GREDEG-OFCE - Nathan Betancourt (University of Amsterdam)

"The Context of Evaluation: The Differential Effects of Category Spanning on Inter-firm Mobility"
Quand ? Le 13-04-2017,
de 14:00 à 15:30
Où ? Salle Picasso
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Séminaire KTO-GREDEG-OFCE -  Nathan Betancourt (University of Amsterdam)


Abstract: This paper examines the effect of employee’s category membership on their inter-firm mobility. We build on prior research that found that a person’s category membership facilitates their classification as either a specialist or a generalist. We argue that belonging to a single category, which indicates that the focal worker is specialized in a specific field, versus spanning several categories, which signals generalism, are differentially associated with horizontal and vertical mobility events or lateral and upward transfers. While specialization is likely to be associated with a higher probability of horizontal mobility events, spanning multiple categories impedes the assessment of the focal employee’s skills and will reduce the probability of a horizontal mobility event. We also contend the distinctiveness and diverse skill-set indicated by category spanning may qualify them for a different type of job than categorically focused workers. Category spanners should be suited to the demands of executive positions and may be associated with a higher probability of vertical mobility events. An in-depth longitudinal analysis of the labor market for attorneys in international law firms in Hong Kong confirms these hypotheses. A category spanner is less likely to move to a new firm than a categorically focused worker but the category spanning associates that do move are more likely to be immediately promoted to partner.


joint with Jeroen Kuilman & Michel Landers


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