Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

Peter Cappelli


Despite the fact that more than half of all jobs are filled internally, we know surprisingly little about the organizational process used to facilitate internal mobility. This dissertation addresses this gap by examining the different ways by which current employees are allocated to new jobs within organizations. Using personnel records and job application data from a large services organization, I examine how posting and sponsorship â?? the two mostly commonly used internal hiring processes â?? shape outcomes of importance to firms and workers. Posting is a formal, market-oriented process in which a manager posts a job and interested employees apply. Sponsorship is an informal, relationship-oriented process in which a manager fills a job with a candidate known through a personal connection. In the first study, I examine how posting and sponsorship shape value creation and capture, arguing that while posting will generate higher quality of internal hires by helping managers overcome challenges associated with identifying and evaluating internal candidates, the competitive nature of the process will lead workers to negotiate for higher salaries, limiting the value a firm is able to capture through improved decision-making. Consistent with these arguments, I find that posting results in better hires but at a higher cost, highlighting important tradeoffs associated with allocating human capital formally though markets or informally through managerial networks. In the second study, I examine how posting and sponsorship shape the organizational careers of women, arguing that posting has the potential to reduce gender inequalities in advancement and pay by overcoming structural barriers imposed by job segregation and minimizing gender differences in negotiating behaviors. I also argue, however, that the posting process is gendered in such a way as to discourage women from applying for posted jobs. In finding empirical support for these arguments, this study highlights how the ability of organizational processes to remediate gender inequalities depends on the extent to which they account for both gender differences in structural constraints and gender differences in preferences and behaviors. Packaged together, these studies provide a more complete understanding of the mechanisms facilitating worker mobility in contemporary labor markets.