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Center for Research in Sports Administration

Brownbag Seminar: Organizational status and job mobility in professional labor markets (Thijs Velema, PhD)

The Group of Work and Organizational Psychology (Prof. Gudela Grote), ETH Zurich, invites you to a brown bag research seminar with Dr. Thijs Velema (Assistant Professor at the Department of Business Management at National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan).


Date: Thursday, 14 February 2019

Time: 12:15-12:45 joint lunch, 12:45-14:00 presentation and discussion

Location: ETH WEV H326, Weinbergstrasse 56/58, Zurich

Lunch will be provided. Please indicate your intention to participate in the Doodle so we can plan the amount of food:


Title and Abstract:

Going up or going down? How over-performing soaring birds and under-performing sinking ships hire across status tiers in European professional football

How does organizational status shape job mobility in professional labor markets? Prior research asserts that most job moves occur between status-similar organizations, but has paid limited attention to explaining upward and downward job mobility across status tiers. This study explains job mobility across larger status distances by distinguishing between key and non-key workers and by distinguishing between lower status organizations out-performing higher status competitors due to the over-performance of lower status firms (soaring birds) or due to the under-performance of higher status organizations (sinking ships). Dyadic analyses of job mobility in European professional football show that over-performing soaring birds hire across larger status distances by attracting the key and non-key workers from higher status competitors but retain their own workers. Higher status sinking ships spur job mobility between status dissimilar firms by dismissing their key workers who move down to lower status organizations and by attracting the key and non-key workers from lower status firms. These results also suggest that the status advantage in professional labor markets is more limited than previously suggested.


Short Bio

Thijs Velema is an assistant professor at the Department of Business Management at National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from National Taiwan University. His research focuses on the transfer market in European professional football analyzing the relations between social structures in the market, the careers of individual players, and the performance of professional football organizations. His most recent publications seek to understand how players move through the market and how professional football teams act and learn on the market.