|Ph.D Student||Baram Ilanit|
|Subject||The Influence of Occupational Collective on Job Search and|
Job Attainment Behavior
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Professor Alan Kirschenbaum|
Occupations are groups of people that create and sustain relatively unique cultural characteristics. We argue that this perspective is methodologically and theoretically limiting in explaining occupational behaviors. We suggest viewing occupations as “collectives” based on differences in the extent to which they reflect various cultural characteristics. The degree to which these characteristics coalesce represents their collective “strength”. This “strength” will influence characteristics and expected behaviors of its members.
To test this argument, we initially created an occupational collective measurement that was sensitive to variations in occupational ethnocentrism and social capital. We also investigate its influence on job search and job attainment, as affected behaviors. To increase the research model’s external validity additional explanatory variables were added. A survey was conducted among 360 practitioners belonging to three professional groups (architects, industrial engineers and economists). The occupational collective proved to have a significant impact on job search behavior. Individuals expressing strong occupational collective characteristics were more likely to use informal job search methods and to attain job by weak and indirect ties. Another finding that supports the veracity of the concept of occupational collective, as a social institution is that perceptions (perceived competition, ethnocentrism) were not a consequence of the situation (labor market opportunities) but rather an expression of the occupational collective.
Overall the study conclusions bolster the importance of occupations as collectives. The extent to which occupations display the various collective community characteristics differ, thereby affecting how its members perceive of the world of work and affect their behavior.