[…] Engaging in networking behaviors is one method managers and professionals can use to help proactively manage their protean careers. The limited number of studies in the scholarly literature have examined networking behaviors primarily as they relate to managerial salaries and promotion rates. For example, Gould and Penley (1984) examined the relationship between networking and salary progression for 217 male and 197 female clerical, professional, and managerial employees of a municipal bureaucracy. Networking
was measured using a two-item scale where participants indicated the extent to which they engaged in “building a network of ‘contacts’ in the organization for obtaining information about what’s happening within the organization” (p. 264) and in “building a network of friendships in the organization which can help to further your career progression” (p. 264). Gould and Penley found that networking was positively related to salary progression for managers only. Similarly, in their study of 457 managers from both public and private organizations, Luthans et al. (1988) determined that managers engaged in four types of activities: traditional management, routine communication, human resource management, and networking. Networking was defined as interacting with outsiders and socializing or politicking. Of the four types of activities, Luthans et al. found that networking had the strongest relationship with managerial success, which was operationalized using a promotion index. A study by Michael and Yukl (1993) examined networking behavior in a sample of 247 managers representing 19 companies in various industries. Networking was categorized as being either internal (interactions with others in the organization) or external (interactions with outsiders such as clients and suppliers). Both internal and external networking were shown to be related to rate of advancement in the organization, confirming the findings
of the Luthans et al. (1988) study.
Although networking has been linked to important career outcomes, little is known about those who engage in networking behaviors. Do all individuals have the same propensity to network? The purpose of this study is to examine whether personal and job characteristics are related to involvement in networking behaviors of managerial and professional employees. […]
Monica L. Forret, St. Ambrose University
Thomas W. Dougherty, University of Missouri