Essays on the role of third parties in employee mobility

Choi, Kira (2021) Essays on the role of third parties in employee mobility. Doctoral thesis, University of London: London Business School.


Human capital is considered as one of the most critical sources of firms’ competitive advantage. However, managers face many challenges in enjoying human capital-based competitive advantage, from attracting to hiring, retaining and motivating employees. These problems are exacerbated by the fact that employee mobility is becoming ever more frequent. This dissertation focuses on employee mobility, an issue that is closely linked with firms’ acquisition of human capital. I highlight how the literature depicts the employment relationship as a dyadic one between firms and individuals and argue that there exist many third parties that may exert substantial influence on this process. Once these third parties are involved, the consequences – either at the employee level or the firm level – may turn out to be entirely different. The dissertation is organised into three papers that provide distinct insights on how different third parties – search firms, social contacts, and graduate school peers – influence different facets of employee mobility. More specifically, the first chapter examines the role of search firms on individuals’ career achievements from job transitions. The second chapter probes into individuals’ decisions to use social contacts in the job search process. The third chapter explores how interactions with graduate school peers shape individuals’ career aspirations and affect the jobs that they subsequently choose. The central theme uniting these three chapters is that different third parties, in one way or another, exert influence as individuals engage in mobility across firms. I shed light on each of them by building a multidisciplinary theory and testing its arguments with careful research design. The results have significant implications for individuals’ careers, employee mobility, firms’ acquisition of human capital and the labour market.

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Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject Areas: Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2022 16:44
Date of first compliant deposit: 11 Mar 2022
Subjects: Theses
Human resource development
Mobility of labour
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2022 08:08

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