Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Recruitment and promotion : the role of social ties in publishing
Author: Lau, Pui Yan Flora
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 743X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis is an in-depth study of the labour market in the UK publishing sector. The aim is to study the role of social ties in publishing in external recruitment and internal promotion. Conventional sociological studies on social ties and labour market outcomes either neglect the perspective of the recruiter and the referrer or fail to explore the mechanisms by which social ties bring about labour market outcomes. This thesis fills these gaps. I used qualitative research methods, i.e. semi-structured interviews and participant observation for this research. The semi-structured interviews were with 40 interviewees, who were working in different roles (e.g. editorial and design) and levels (e.g. senior and junior) in Oxford and London-based publishing houses. I also served as a committee member of a publishing association in Oxford for seven months. Participant observation serves to triangulate the information I obtained through semi-structured interviews. This thesis examines different aspects of the labour market process and mechanisms. Regarding recruitment methods, I found that whether recruiters use formal or informal (word of mouth) methods depend on the level of uncertainty of recruiting a wrong person and the cost of making such mistakes. The greater the uncertainty and the cost, the more likely recruiters are to use social ties. Social ties serve to provide information about the availability of suitable employees. With regard to selection processes, I found that professional skills are a must but not enough in themselves. Recruiters use informal method at the final stage of selection to ensure the recruits possess the relevant qualities. As for job-hunting methods, I found that most newcomers introduce themselves using formal methods to get into publishing but in fact informality is often embedded in formal methods. Interviewees at managerial level almost entirely got their job through informal channels. Social ties have different functions as people rise through the different levels: whereas first entrants use social ties to obtain information about job opportunities, senior level staff members and freelancers carry with them reputation of their fitness to fill a particular position. Finally, when it comes to internal promotion, employers in my sample promote staff from within the company who already possesses the relevant skills, so as to minimize training costs and get around the uncertainties in settling in new staff. From the employees’ point of view, so long as they perform well in the job and establish a cooperative link with their boss and team members, they would be able to be promoted.
Supervisor: Heath, Anthony F. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Book industries and trade ; employee selection ; employee recruitment ; job hunting ; labour market ; promotion ; Great Britain ; book industries and trade ; labour market ; employee selection ; recruitment ; job hunting ; promotion ; Great Britain