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Title: Banking on a level playing field : the role of social capital in the promotion process to MD in a major investment bank : is it different for women?
Author: Pryce, Patricia
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis analyses individual experiences of the promotion process to Managing Director within a global bank to identify the contribution made by social capital. Using Nahapiet and Ghoshal’s (1998) three-dimension framework as the theoretical lens, the thesis extends social capital research beyond its largely quantitative focus on network analysis (structural dimension) to understand more clearly the relative importance and impact of the relational and cognitive dimensions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 34 men and women in an investment bank and a template-based analysis of their accounts was made. The findings make visible, the invisible mechanisms which enable or constrain the creation, development and use of social capital and, therefore, its contribution to securing the position of Managing Director. The findings highlight the need to consider the importance of agency, relationship level and gender in this context. The study makes three key contributions. First, it extends Nahapiet and Ghoshal’s (1998) theory of social capital, in the context of career progression, by demonstrating how each social capital dimension is operationalized and interdependent. Second, the research explicitly demonstrates the crucial role social capital plays in an executive-level promotion process, thereby revealing a complex and multi-layered system. Third, the study extends our knowledge of the gendered nature of senior-level career progression by identifying the particular barriers women face, compared to men, in their efficacious use of social capital for promotion in a global bank.
Supervisor: Vinnicombe, Susan; Sealy, Ruth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social capital ; professional service firms ; career progression ; gender ; promotion processes ; investment banking