Damon Phillips

The Promotion Paradox: Organizational Mortality and Employee Promotion Chances in Silicon Valley Law Firms, 1946–1996

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Abstract:
This article argues that there is a "promotion paradox" — a negative relation between firm life chances and employee promotion chances. I argue that this is due to a firm's bargaining power, which increases with the firm's competitive strength. I find strong support using data on 50 years of Silicon Valley law firms and attorneys. Young, small, specialist, and low-status firms are more likely to fail but are also contexts with the highest promotion likelihood. Moreover, except for those firms that are "near death," an associate's promotion likelihood increases with the law firm's probability of failure.

Exact Citation:
Phillips, Damon. "The Promotion Paradox: Organizational Mortality and Employee Promotion Chances in Silicon Valley Law Firms, 1946–1996." American Journal of Sociology 106, no. 4 (January 2001): 1058?1098.
Volume: 106
Number: 4
Pages: 1058-1098
Date: 1 2001