A talk of interest to COR Community….
“Social Comparison and Employee Mobility”
Speaker: Teppo Felin, Professor of Strategy, University of Oxford, Saïd Business School
Date/Time: Friday, November 3, 2017, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Location: SB1 5100, Corporate Partners Executive Boardroom
In this paper we study the nexus of social comparison, wage inequality, and employee mobility. Extant research has largely focused on how within-firm social comparison of wages—using aggregate measures such as firm-level wage inequality (e.g., Gini coefficient)—impact employee satisfaction, productivity and mobility. We argue that social comparison is “personal” in the sense that it is a function of one’s relative standing within and across firms, rather than a function of more aggregate measures (e.g., overall wage inequality, average wages of the firm, the firm’s ranking in terms of average wage within the industry). We utilize a more fine-grained measure of social comparison, that is, a focal employee’s relative standing or rank both within and across firms. Using a large-scale, multi-year and multi-industry dataset we show that both within and across-firm employee wage rank is negatively correlated with mobility. We also theoretically argue and empirically show that industry-level social comparison matters more than firm-level comparison—suggesting a need to broaden the scope of the social comparison literature to include the set of other firms that an employee might move to. Across-firm social comparisons are salient due to a number of factors, including the professional ties and embeddedness of employees in networks outside the firm. We replicate extant findings of firm-level wage inequalities and mobility, and provide a more nuanced discussion of why and how wage inequality shapes employee mobility. We also highlight and discuss the implications of wage inequality and mobility on firm performance. key words: employee mobility, social comparison, strategy, performance.
Teppo Felin is a Professor of Strategy at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. His areas of expertise include strategy, entrepreneurship and innovation, complex systems and competitive advantage. Teppo’s highly acclaimed and award-winning research has been published in top journals such as Organization Science, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Industrial and Corporate Change, California Management Review and MIT Sloan Management Review. He is also actively engaged in interdisciplinary research and has published this work in such journals as Erkenntnis, Arizona State Law Journal, Theory and Decision, and PLOS ONE. His co-authored 2015 paper in Journal of Institutional Economics received the 2016 Elinor Ostrom Prize. Teppo was also Researcher of the Year (2011-2012) and Lee Perry Fellow at the Marriott School, BYU (2009-2013). He is a 2009 Western Academy of Management Ascendant Scholar. Teppo, who strongly encourages his students to interact with technology, has also received multiple MBA Outstanding Teacher of the Year Awards while teaching at the Marriott School, BYU. Teppo is highly engaged with business and the wider academic community. He is Co-Editor of the journal Strategic Organization, Associate Editor of the Academy of Management Annals and on the Editorial Boards of several journals including the Academy of Management Review and Journal of Management. He has also guest edited special issues of Organization Science, Managerial and Decision Economics, Journal of Management Studies and other journals. Before joining Säid Business School, Teppo was Associate Professor and Lee T. Perry Fellow of the Marriott School, Brigham Young University (BYU). He has also been a Visiting Professor (2004-2005) at Goizueta Business School, Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and held visiting positions at Aalto University (Helsinki, Finland), the Hanken School of Economics (Helsinki, Finland), and the Institute for Economic Research, Lund University, Sweden. Before entering academia, Teppo worked in the venture capital industry in Munich, Germany and Amman, Jordan.