Business professor Kip Kiefer, along with colleagues John Martin (Wright State University) and Richard Hunt (Virginia Tech), recently published a paper titled “Multi-Level Considerations in Executive Organizational Transfer” in Human Resource Management Review. In the piece, Kiefer and his colleagues introduce the concept of executive organizational transfer (EOT).
People all over the world have a studied interest in the movement of executives. While executive mobility has been the subject of considerable prior scholarly attention, its drivers and outcomes remain conspicuously underexplored and undertheorized.
Why is there a disconnect between the perceived importance of executives by stakeholders and the relative lack of explanatory frameworks? Kiefer, Martin, and Hunt’s work takes important steps to identify and define the challenges associated with EOT. Their multi-level analysis enhances and extends human-capital theory by building an explanatory model for the manner in which stakeholders’ beliefs about the transferability of individual- and firm-level reputation, attractiveness, and power impact the interorganizational movement of executives. They suggest that critical to this process is the moderating effect of political skill, which executives can employ to manage the complex web of stakeholder relationships.
Kiefer, Martin, and Hunt’s framework offers a much-needed integration of the varied mechanisms that influence successful or unsuccessful EOT and offers a roadmap for future research.