Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5027-6118

Year of Publication

2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Business and Economics

Department

Management

First Advisor

Dr. Daniel J. Brass

Second Advisor

Dr. Giuseppe Labianca

Abstract

I investigate whether cross-functional or cross-organizational networking following a large corporate merger and acquisition improves managers’ career outcomes. Previous research on networks and career success has focused on stable organizational environments, finding that large, open networks with many structural holes are most advantageous because of superior information benefits and control power, while closed networks provide redundant information that is unhelpful career-wise. However, I suggest that while dense, closed networks formed within knowledge (functional) or identity (legacy organization) boundaries might be detrimental to executives’ future promotability, closed networks are helpful if they are created across those boundaries. These ties help to facilitate knowledge transfer and develop a new superordinate post-merger identity and are ultimately valued by the organization. I tested this on junior executives’ email and survey data collected at two time points (pre-merger and a year later) from a newly-merged organization. Results show that while closed networks with higher constraint in general were detrimental to executive’s promotability pre-merger, they lose the negative effect in the post-merger tumult. Controlling for overall network constraint, increasing closed networks across functional and legacy organizational boundaries led to managers receiving higher promotability evaluations from top management, whereas increasing closed networks within one functional and legacy organizational boundary did not have a significant impact. Managers’ rank and networking strategy that joins other employees (i.e., having a tertius iungens orientation) 2 moderated the relationships between networks and promotability. Implications are discussed for career and social networks research.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2017.372

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