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Factors influencing the probability of employee promotions: A comparative analysis of human capital, organization screening and gender/race discrimination theories

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This study examines the effects that a manager's formal education, on-the-job training, race and gender had on the probability of being promoted from different jobs during his or her career in a company. Having a bachelor's degree with a major in business or engineering had significant screening effects on the probability of being promoted. The education screening was much stronger for low performing managers than for high performers. There was no evidence of gender or race or race discrimination effects. The importance of determining screening variables is discussed.

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Correspondence to Richard Buda.

Additional information

Support for this research was provided by the participating company and the Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University. The authors acknowledge the helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript by Professors Joan Brett, Jack Brittain, Ellen Jackofsky, Barbara Lawrence, and Robin Pinkley.

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Sheridan, J.E., Slocum, J.W. & Buda, R. Factors influencing the probability of employee promotions: A comparative analysis of human capital, organization screening and gender/race discrimination theories. J Bus Psychol 11, 373–380 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02195900

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  • Comparative Analysis
  • Human Capital
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Issue
  • Formal Education