Getting a Job: A Study of Contacts and Careers

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University of Chicago Press, Mar 15, 1995 - Business & Economics - 251 pages
3 Reviews
This classic study of how 282 men in the United States found their jobs not only proves "it's not what you know but who you know," but also demonstrates how social activity influences labor markets. Examining the link between job contacts and social structure, Granovetter recognizes networking as the crucial link between economists studies of labor mobility and more focused studies of an individual's motivation to find work.

This second edition is updated with a new Afterword and includes Granovetter's influential article "Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problems of Embeddedness."

"Who would imagine that a book with such a prosaic title as 'getting a job' could pose such provocative questions about social structure and even social policy? In a remarkably ingenious and deceptively simple analysis of data gathered from a carefully designed sample of professional, technical, and managerial employees . . . Granovetter manages to raise a number of critical issues for the economic theory of labor markets as well as for theories of social structure by exploiting the emerging 'social network' perspective."—Edward O. Laumann, American Journal of Sociology

"This short volume has much to offer readers of many disciplines. . . . Granovetter demonstrates ingenuity in his design and collection of data."—Jacob Siegel, Monthly Labor Review

"A fascinating exploration, for Granovetter's principal interest lies in utilizing sociological theory and method to ascertain the nature of the linkages through which labor market information is transmitted by 'friends and relatives.'"—Herbert Parnes, Industrial and Labor Relations Review


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This book is an excellent source for any person wishing to find extensive research on the role of personal contacts in getting a job or changing jobs. This book is NOT a guide for getting a job, so if you are hoping for a book providing tips on how to get a job, this book is not for you.


Toward Causal Models
Job Search and Economic Theory
Contacts and Their Information
The Dynamics of Information Flow
The Dynamics of Vacancy Structure
Contacts Acquisition and Maintenance
Career Structure
Some Theoretical Implications
Comparative Perspectives
Reconsiderations and a New Agenda
Design and Conduct of the Study
Coding Rules and Problems
Letters and Interview Schedules
Economic Action and Social Structure The Problem of Embeddedness

Mobility and Society
Mobility and Organizations

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About the author (1995)

Mark Granovetter is professor of sociology and organization behavior at Northwestern University and Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

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