Who Does Referral-Based Hiring Help Most, and How?

9323706832_efbf0759ba_zReferral-based hiring is a commonplace practice for modern organizations, which holds considerable benefits for employees hired based upon a referral, including greater chances for upward mobility within the company. A recent paper published in ILR Review entitled “Lasting Effects? Referrals and Career Mobility of Demographic Groups in Organizations,” further studies the benefits of referral based hiring, and finds that the positive impact does not effect different demographic groups equally. Rather, authors Jennifer Merluzzi and Adina Sterling find that referral-based hiring provides the biggest increase in promotional opportunities for racial minorities. The abstract for the paper:

While prior research has suggested that network-based hiring in the form of referrals can lead to better career outcomes, few studies have tested whether such career advantages differ across demographic groups. Using archival data from a single organization for nearly 16,000 employees over an 11-year period, the authors examine the effect of hiring by referrals on the number of promotions employees receive and Current Issue Coverthe differences in this effect across demographic groups. Drawing on theories of referral-based hiring, inequality, and career mobility, they argue that referral-based hiring provides unique promotion advantages for minorities compared to those hired without a referral. Consistent with this argument, they find that referrals are positively associated with promotions for one minority group, blacks, even after controlling for individual and regional labor market differences. The authors explore the possible mechanism for this finding, with initial evidence pointing to referrals providing a signal of quality for black employees. These results suggest refinement to prior research that attests that referral-based hiring disadvantages racial minorities.

You can read “Lasting Effects? Referrals and Career Mobility of Demographic Groups in Organizations” from ILR Review free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on all of the latest research from ILR Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Image attributed to Cydcor (CC)

How to Grow the Impact of Your Paper: A Step by Step Guide to Using Kudos

[This post comes from the SAGE Connection blog. It was written by Rebecca Wray of Group Marketing Manager, SAGE Publishing. You can find the original blog post here.]

becky wrayAfter an intense period of researching, writing, re-writing, submitting, and proofing an article, authors are then able to experience the delight of seeing it published online. They can now relax, sit back and watch as the downloads and citations stack up. But wait! There are also over 2.5 million other articles publishing this year too. How will people find this paper among this increasing landscape of research output and what can be done to make the author’s article more visible?

This is where Kudos comes inkudos logo

We’ve partnered with Kudos, a service designed specifically for authors, to help them maximize the visibility of their work. SAGE has always put its authors and their content first through supporting both dissemination and accessibility, and we’re really excited by this new partnership that enables us to further achieve our aims.  I’m not a researcher, or an author of any kind (other than this, my first published blog post!), but I’ve been marketing scholarly journals for over 10 years. During this time, I’ve seen that authors can be powerful advocates for their own work, complementing and extending the discoverability, circulation and marketing services that the publisher already provides to ensure their article reaches the widest possible audience. So how can Kudos help authors grow the impact of their papers?

Getting started with Kudos

When an author’s paper is published online on SAGE Journals, they will receive an email from Kudos inviting them to register on the website and ‘claim’ their paper. Authors also have the option to go back and claim all of their past papers that have a CrossRef DOI. Another key thing to point out: Kudos is free for SAGE authors to use!

Once the author has completed the brief registration form, they will have access to their own private author dashboard. Here they will be able to see all of the articles they claim (including those from other publishers) listed out, and track their actions and results.

The 4 stages of Kudos

Kudos offers four author tools, and authors are free to mix and match from the below:

  • Explain: Add a lay summary, impact statement and personal perspective to their Kudos publications page. This will make their article stand-out to researchers within their field, as well as make it more accessible to a broader audience.
  • Enrich: Add supplementary data such as podcasts and videos to enrich their article. This helps to engage readers with their work, and provide them with more context for the research.
  • Share: Kudos generates a trackable URL for the author’s article page. Here they can sync their Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts and post directly from Kudos using their trackable link. Kudos also provides a tool to share the link to their paper by email.
  • Measure: Authors can track clicks from their sharing link in step 3, and see the impact of their actions in the dashboard with official citations and Altmetric scores for their article.

Spare a few minutes for many downloads

Authors can spend as little or as long on Kudos as they like. Needless to say, the more time spent on the site, the more they are likely to get out of it. In a pilot program, authors using the Kudos tools saw 19% higher downloads than those in a control group. So, now over to you to get creative with your communications and get Kudos!

Looking for me information on Kudos? Read our interview with Kudos co-founders Charlie Rapple, David Sommer, Melinda Kenneway, along with Ann Lawson, Head of Business Development, on how the key features of the service can help you grow citations for your articles here.

Trust and Distrust in the Pursuit of Career Advancement

8616564123_9f697724c0_z[We’re pleased to welcome Joshua Marineau of North Dakota State University. Joshua recently published an article in Group & Organization Management entitled “Trust and Distrust Network Accuracy and Career Advancement in an Organization.”]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

The key interest I had with this study was wondering if it was beneficial to know your sources of liabilities—that is, do you really want to know who distrusts you at work? And if you did know, would you be better off?  This was an interesting question for me because there has been relatively little work in this area and this was an opportunity to test some new ideas. There is a lot of work which shows our social networks matter, but not much showing whether knowledge of the social network matters, and very little work on negative ties, such as distrust.  Here I found evidence that knowing your sources of trust and distrust can be quite beneficial, especially when it comes to being promoted at work.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?Current Issue Cover

In conducting this study, I was surprised that there wasn’t a clear positive moderation effect for network accuracy on performance related to increased chances for promotion. It seems that being accurate is very helpful, but this doesn’t benefit high performers much. One can benefit from either high accuracy or high performance; but together, there does not seem to be much advantage.

  • How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

I hope this research has a modest influence on how scholars think about social networks in organizations, particularly when it comes to individual outcomes. Those that know their sources of positive and negative ties can benefit—this means that one’s position in the network is just one factor in explaining outcomes, therefore scholars might also consider how accurate the person is about their network. I believe this is one of the first studies to look at career advancement and network accuracy and one of the first to use negative ties (i.e., distrust). In terms of practice, knowing who trusts and distrusts you can actually be a good thing, and can pay dividends—suggesting that spending some energy getting to know your network can pay off, particularly if your performance is low!

The abstract for the paper:

Although there is some evidence individuals’ knowledge of the organization’s social network can be a valuable resource, providing advantages, it is unclear whether those advantages also relate to employee performance outcomes, such as career advancement. Thus, the question this study seeks to answer is “Does accuracy of the social network provide a unique resource unto itself, positively affecting one’s promotion in the organization?” This question is answered from a social exchange and social resources view using cognitive social structure-style data collected in the call center of a large U.S. restaurant equipment manufacturing firm. Evidence suggests that social network accuracy of the work-related trust and distrust networks increased the chances for promotion compared with the less accurate. In addition, trust and distrust network accuracy moderated supervisor-rated performance effects on promotion, such that accuracy is generally more beneficial for low compared with high performance individuals, increasing their chances of promotion. Contributions to research in career advancement, social networks, network cognition, and positive and negative tie perception are discussed.

You can read “Trust and Distrust Network Accuracy and Career Advancement in an Organization” from Group & Organization Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on all of the latest research from Group & Organization Management? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

 *Image credited to Pal-Kristian Hamre (CC)

The ‘Arena’ of Top Management Selection

Editor’s note: We are pleased to welcome Claartje J. Vinkenburg of VU University in Amsterdam. Her paper “Arena: A Critical Conceptual Framework of Top Management Selection,” co-authored by Paul G. W. Jansen of VU Amsterdam, Nicky Dries of KU Leuven, and Roland Pepermans of VU Brussels, is forthcoming in Group & Organization Management and now available in the journal’s OnlineFirst section.

pullquoteAs a scholar of diversity and careers, I have long been fascinated by pathways to the top and how the labyrinth appears to be much less complicated to navigate for White, fit, 40-something men than others in practically any type of organization or profession. Over the years I have shifted focus from the individual to perceptions to the system in terms of trying to explain this phenomenon. The selection process by which some people end up in top positions and others do not is largely uncharted territory, even if it resonates with academics and practitioners alike. Conceptualizing that process as an arena and bringing together relevant theories and empirical findings from different fields was a major challenge, but a journey I much enjoyed.

GOM_72ppiRGB_150pixwThe largest surprise to me was that there was indeed very little to go on in terms of empirical evidence on top management selection, even if there is a lot of experience on this topic among management development professionals and executive searchers as well as numerous career stories from incumbents of top management positions as evidenced in biographies, movies, and other popular sources. The main reason for the lack of research on top management selection I think is because this is a very small and very inaccessible population to study, with accounts of selection decisions only available in retrospect rather than in vivo.

I hope our conceptualization of top management selection as an arena, which is inherently different from regular selection at lower organizational levels, with its own unique structural conditions, situational components, and cognitive features, inspires further qualitative and even ethnographic research on how this type of selection plays out across different contexts and that insights thus gained may lead to an improved, more inclusive selection process for top managers.

Read the paper, “Arena: A Critical Conceptual Framework of Top Management Selection,” online in Group & Organization Management.

Claartje Vinkenburg is associate professor of organizational behavior at the Amsterdam Center for Career Research, VU University. Claartje’s research focuses on (gender) diversity in careers, especially in science and in professional service firms. She has published in the Journal of Social Issues and Leadership Quarterly, and edited a book on “Top potentials” for the Dutch Foundation for Management Development with Roland Pepermans.

Paul Jansen is full professor of industrial psychology at VU University, and gradu – ated, cum laude, in 1979, in Mathematical Psychology at the University of Nijmegen. His research interests are in management development, careers, assessment, and performance management. Paul Jansen has published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Vocational Behavior, and Journal of Management Studies.

Nicky Dries is a research professor at KU Leuven. She was a visiting scholar at VU Amsterdam, Tilburg University, WU Vienna, Reykjavik University, and Boston University. Nicky is on the editorial board of Journal of Vocational Behavior and European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. Her research interests are talent, human potential, and subjective success. She is an active member of the 5C and the Career Adaptability/Life Design project.

Roland Pepermans is full professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, work & organizational psychology. He teaches Organizational Behavior, Managerial Psychology and Human Resource Management. His research relates to social exchange processes at work in profit and non-profit organizations, with applications to high-potential management as well as to volunteering.

To Succeed, Should You Specialize?

In today’s market, does job specialization help or hinder one’s career? A new article published by John-Paul Ferguson and Sharique Hasan of Stanford University in Administrative Science Quarterly, “Specialization and Career Dynamics: Evidence from the Indian Administrative Service,” provides a unique perspective on this debate:

There are advantages to focusing on one thing. Whether it is because of skills that one learns on the job or because of the clearer signals of identity that one sends to potential employers, specializing can help an employee get ahead. Yet there are also advantages to broad experience. These might accrue from developing different skills or might be due to the ability to broker between different domains of expertise…

????????????????????????????In this paper, we use a rich set of longitudinal data about the background, work experiences, and career outcomes of officers in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) to parse the effect of specialization on career advancement. These data help us with both of these problems. First, the structure of the IAS minimizes variance in unobserved ability and rules out self-selection and survivor bias. This allows us to estimate more convincing, causal benefits of specialization on career advancement. Second, the IAS data include information about skills its officers acquire in each job, as well as the skill requirements of each job.

Click here to read the article in Administrative Science Quarterly, and visit the journal’s OnlineFirst section for more brand-new articles on organizational studies.

The Cost of Being a Good Citizen

In practicing organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), employees go above and beyond the call of duty to better the organization. However, according to a new study in the Journal of Management, “what is good for the organization may not always be good for the employee.” Diane M. Bergeron of Case Western Reserve University, Abbie J. Shipp of Texas A&M University, Benson Rosen of the University of North Carolina, and Stacie A. Furst of the University of Cincinnati explore the issue in their article “Organizational Citizenship Behavior and Career Outcomes: The Cost of Being a Good Citizen,” published on October 26 in JOM. The abstract:

Existing research suggests that relationships among organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), task performance, and individual career outcomes are necessarily positive. The authors question this assumption and hypothesize that in organizations with outcome-based control systems, time spent on OCB comes at a cost to task performance. Building on this idea, the authors propose not only that time spent on task performance is more important than time spent on OCB in determining career outcomes (i.e., performance evaluation, salary increase, advancement speed, promotion) in an outcome-based control system but also that time spent on OCB may negatively impact career outcomes. Results based on archival data from 3,680 employees in a professional services firm lend some support for these ideas. Specifically, time spent on task performance was more important than OCB in determining all four career outcomes. Further, controlling for time spent on task performance, employees who spent more time on OCB had lower salary increases and advanced more slowly than employees who spent less time on OCB. These findings suggest that relationships between OCB and outcomes are more complex than originally thought and that boundary conditions may apply to conclusions drawn about the outcomes of OCB.

Click here to read more and here to receive e-alerts about newly published articles in the Journal of Management.

The Diversity Challenge: Part 2 of 5

Editor’s note: Today we’re continuing our series on diversity, targeting specific questions to invite discussion and exploration of related topics. If you have a question that you’d like to see addressed, add it in the comments below!


Part 2: Why do men outnumber women in academic leadership positions?

It’s been almost fifty years since gender discrimination in employment was outlawed in the U.S., but it’s been a lot longer since many of our nation’s patriarchal academic institutions were established.

Niki Murray, Marianne Tremaine, and Susan Fountaine, all of Massey University, published “Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling in the Ivory Tower: Using a Case Study to Gain New Understandings of Old Gender Issues” in the May 2012 issue of Advances in Developing Human Resources.

The abstract:

The Problem.

Universities are patriarchal institutions. More males reach upper levels of the academic hierarchy than females. The authors were concerned that their university had a marginally lower percentage of female professors than others in their country and used a survey and interviews to explore the facts behind the figures.

The Solution.

Statistics showed that though fewer females applied for promotion, proportionately more female applicants were successful. The authors researched what helped female professors and associate professors gain promotion and explored views on the spillover between work and family/community roles. Promotion enhancement factors included encouragement from department heads and senior colleagues. Family/community roles were seen to spillover positively to work, though work could negatively affect time for family and community involvement.

The Stakeholders.

These findings could encourage proactive mentoring of female academic staff by managers, and increase HR and HRD support for family-friendly policies and training programs.

To learn more about Advances in Developing Human Resources, please follow this link. To receive email alerts about newly published articles, click here.

Up next in the series: Which “minority” group is possibly the most underrepresented in the HRD diversity literature?