Center for Advanced Management




Prof. Ingrid Fulmer (Rutgers University)


  • Datum: 10.05.2016
    Zeit: 12:00 - 13:30
    Ort: Kaulbachstr. 45, Raum 004
    Titel: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You May Never Leave: A Theory of Post-Employment Relationships and Relational Capital

When scholars of human resource management and human capital talk about an organization’s workforce as a source of value and competitive advantage, they are usually focused on current employees and on how to prevent turnover of those workers, with little to no attention to former employees (“alumni”). In many actual organizations, however, there has been an increasing focus on alumni. Organizations as varied as Ernst & Young, Nielson Co., the Gates Foundation, and Chevron, for example, are intensifying their efforts to establish and maintain relationships with alumni through various outreach and networking activities. Unfortunately, there is little in the way of coherent management theory to explain why and when beneficial post-exit relationships with alumni can be expected and what organizations can do to cultivate them. Utilizing a framework that weaves together attribution, justice, and social exchange, we develop a theoretical model to better explain and predict: (1) the role of an organization’s alumni orientation in determining why, in some organizations, alumni are more likely to actively maintain post-exit relationships with former colleagues and/or managers, whereas in others, such relationships are either never initiated or are limited, and (2) how an organization’s orientation toward alumni can, over time and through its effects on alumni behavior patterns and relationship trajectories, contribute to the creation of firm-level relational capital. We discuss the timely theoretical and practical implications of our model.