Ethnic diversity and social capital in upward mobility systems: Problematizing the permeability of intra-organizational career boundaries

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of the complex relationship between ethnic diversity, social capital, and objective career success in upward mobility systems over time. The authors conceptualize the underlying process of why intra-organizational career boundaries are more permeable for dominant ethnics compared to minority ethnics. Design/methodology/approach – The authors conceptually explore and model this relationship by elaborating on three mechanisms of social capital return deficit proposed by Lin (2000), building the argument based on four underlying principles (stereotype fit, status construction, homophily, and reciprocity). Findings – Based on a proposed reciprocal relationship between social capital and objective career success, the authors suggest the development of an upward career spiral over time, which is continuously affected by ethnic group membership. Consequently, the authors argue that dominant ethnics do not only advance to a higher level of objective career success, but that they also advance exponentially faster than minority ethnics. Research limitations/implications – The conceptualization provokes the question to what extent the permeability of intra-organizational boundaries constrains careers of some, while enabling careers of others. Originality/value – The contribution lies in the exploration of the relationship between social capital and objective career success over time, of the permeability of intra-organizational career boundaries, and how both are affected by ethnic group membership.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-558
JournalCareer Development International
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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permeability
social capital
career
group membership
national minority
ethnic group
Social capital
Ethnic diversity
Permeability
Career success
reciprocity
stereotype
deficit
methodology
Ethnic minorities
Ethnic groups
Group membership

Cite this

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title = "Ethnic diversity and social capital in upward mobility systems: Problematizing the permeability of intra-organizational career boundaries",
abstract = "Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of the complex relationship between ethnic diversity, social capital, and objective career success in upward mobility systems over time. The authors conceptualize the underlying process of why intra-organizational career boundaries are more permeable for dominant ethnics compared to minority ethnics. Design/methodology/approach – The authors conceptually explore and model this relationship by elaborating on three mechanisms of social capital return deficit proposed by Lin (2000), building the argument based on four underlying principles (stereotype fit, status construction, homophily, and reciprocity). Findings – Based on a proposed reciprocal relationship between social capital and objective career success, the authors suggest the development of an upward career spiral over time, which is continuously affected by ethnic group membership. Consequently, the authors argue that dominant ethnics do not only advance to a higher level of objective career success, but that they also advance exponentially faster than minority ethnics. Research limitations/implications – The conceptualization provokes the question to what extent the permeability of intra-organizational boundaries constrains careers of some, while enabling careers of others. Originality/value – The contribution lies in the exploration of the relationship between social capital and objective career success over time, of the permeability of intra-organizational career boundaries, and how both are affected by ethnic group membership.",
author = "C. Ossenkop and C.J. Vinkenburg and P.G.W. Jansen and H. Ghorashi",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1108/CDI-12-2013-0148",
language = "English",
volume = "20",
pages = "539--558",
journal = "Career Development International",
issn = "1362-0436",
publisher = "Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ethnic diversity and social capital in upward mobility systems: Problematizing the permeability of intra-organizational career boundaries

AU - Ossenkop, C.

AU - Vinkenburg, C.J.

AU - Jansen, P.G.W.

AU - Ghorashi, H.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of the complex relationship between ethnic diversity, social capital, and objective career success in upward mobility systems over time. The authors conceptualize the underlying process of why intra-organizational career boundaries are more permeable for dominant ethnics compared to minority ethnics. Design/methodology/approach – The authors conceptually explore and model this relationship by elaborating on three mechanisms of social capital return deficit proposed by Lin (2000), building the argument based on four underlying principles (stereotype fit, status construction, homophily, and reciprocity). Findings – Based on a proposed reciprocal relationship between social capital and objective career success, the authors suggest the development of an upward career spiral over time, which is continuously affected by ethnic group membership. Consequently, the authors argue that dominant ethnics do not only advance to a higher level of objective career success, but that they also advance exponentially faster than minority ethnics. Research limitations/implications – The conceptualization provokes the question to what extent the permeability of intra-organizational boundaries constrains careers of some, while enabling careers of others. Originality/value – The contribution lies in the exploration of the relationship between social capital and objective career success over time, of the permeability of intra-organizational career boundaries, and how both are affected by ethnic group membership.

AB - Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of the complex relationship between ethnic diversity, social capital, and objective career success in upward mobility systems over time. The authors conceptualize the underlying process of why intra-organizational career boundaries are more permeable for dominant ethnics compared to minority ethnics. Design/methodology/approach – The authors conceptually explore and model this relationship by elaborating on three mechanisms of social capital return deficit proposed by Lin (2000), building the argument based on four underlying principles (stereotype fit, status construction, homophily, and reciprocity). Findings – Based on a proposed reciprocal relationship between social capital and objective career success, the authors suggest the development of an upward career spiral over time, which is continuously affected by ethnic group membership. Consequently, the authors argue that dominant ethnics do not only advance to a higher level of objective career success, but that they also advance exponentially faster than minority ethnics. Research limitations/implications – The conceptualization provokes the question to what extent the permeability of intra-organizational boundaries constrains careers of some, while enabling careers of others. Originality/value – The contribution lies in the exploration of the relationship between social capital and objective career success over time, of the permeability of intra-organizational career boundaries, and how both are affected by ethnic group membership.

U2 - 10.1108/CDI-12-2013-0148

DO - 10.1108/CDI-12-2013-0148

M3 - Article

VL - 20

SP - 539

EP - 558

JO - Career Development International

JF - Career Development International

SN - 1362-0436

IS - 5

ER -