Standing on the shoulders of others: Career interdependence in job mobility

Standing on the shoulders of others: Career interdependence in job mobility

By
William P. Barnett, Anne S. Miner
Administrative Science Quarterly .
1992, Vol. 37, Issue 2, Pages 262-281

Organizations often hire workers whom they will not promote, a practice we believe triggers career interdependence, where hiring nonpromotable workers sometimes harms but in some cases helps the mobility chances of other employees. We identify conditions that should shape such interdependence and test our ideas by analyzing how the hiring of temporary workers affected the mobility of permanent workers in a large organization. We expected that hiring temporary workers (1) would slow mobility among permanent workers at lower ranks and (2) speed mobility among advanced workers and that these effects (3) would hold for vacancy promotions but not for upgrade promotions, These hypotheses were largely supported by rate-dependent accelerated duration models estimated using event-history data on 6,850 workers over a 14-year period. The results indicate that the hiring of nonpromotable workers can create a "hidden escalator" favoring core workers and suggest the value of more research into the institutional sources of career interdependence.