Employer-employee Matching and Complementary Assets: The Role of Cross-organization Collaborations

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

417 Downloads (Pure)


Building on human capital theory and social capital theory, we theorize that cross-organization collaborations generate a rich and distinct source of relational capital that enhances employer-employee matches when complementary assets are important in the production process. We test our theory in the context of academic scientists where collaborations within and across organizations are common ways to access complementary assets. We find that cross-organizational collaborations are positively related to an individual’s decision to move towards their previous co-authors. Additionally, moving to an organization where an individual had a direct collaboration is positively related to post-mobility performance. This suggests that prior collaboration facilitates better employer-employee matches. We unpack this finding and show that the post-mobility performance increase is not driven only by increased productivity with the prior co-authors, it is also driven by novel collaborations with new colleagues. Together, our findings suggest that cross-organization collaborations facilitate hiring employees that can integrate well with the complementary assets of the entire unit.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)799-823
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Published online 21. April 2020


  • Employee mobility
  • Complementary assets
  • Human capital
  • Knowledge flow
  • Knowledge workers

Cite this