The Management Department
Department Seminar Series
Thursday, September 20th 2018
Room LE CLUB at 10:00 am (4.00 p.m in Singapore)
Theme: “You can’t go home again: Boomerang employees and bi-lateral relational assistance”
Abstract: Understanding the portability of performance is critical in a world of boundaryless careers and unstable employment. Researchers have focused on human capital and social capital as key factors in determining how well performance translates across firm boundaries; less attention has been directed toward identity-based or cognitive frameworks that individuals carry when they move between employers. We study boomerangs, i.e. individuals who return to a former employer after working elsewhere, to focus on how identity impacts the behavior of both returnees and incumbent co-workers. We find that boomerangs are more likely to assist their former co-workers than other co-workers, and that this effect is mitigated when the boomerangs re-enter the firm as part of a co-mobility event. By contrast, former co-workers are less likely to assist the boomerang, and the negative effect is exacerbated when the boomerang is coming back as a star performer.