Gone but not lost: The different performance impacts of employee mobility between cooperators versus competitors

Deepak Somaya, Ian O. Williamson, Natalia Lorinkova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

215 Scopus citations


This article extends research on the relationship between employee mobility and firm performance by exploring how mobility between competitors and mobility between potential cooperators are different. We draw on social capital theory to argue that movement of employees both to and from clients may enhance firm performance, whereas only inward mobility from competitors benefits firms. We also hypothesize that it is more harmful for firms to lose social capital-laden human assets to competitors than to other potential employee destinations. We tested our hypotheses with a novel dyadic data set of patent attorney movements between law firms and Fortune 500 companies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)936-953
Number of pages18
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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