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Strategy Seminar

Wednesday February 05, 2014


2:45PM - 4:15PM



ADINA STERLING, Washington University


Shared Educational Affiliations and Workplace Relationships

This study examines how intra-organizational allocation processes contribute to the horizontal stratification of higher educational institutions. We propose that organizations stratify employees by allocating them based on their educational affiliations to work groups and to work relationships within work groups. Results of industry and firm level analyses of the U.S. legal services industry support this claim. At the industry level, two lawyers who attended the same law school are more likely to work in the same firm-office and to be assigned to the same practice area within that office than are two lawyers who attended different law schools. Within offices and practices, the likelihood of a hierarchical work tie between partners and associates is greater for two lawyers who attended the same law school than for two who did not. Implications of these findings for studies of careers, organizational inequality, and social stratification are discussed.

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Barbara Baxter

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