The Company They Keep: How Human Brand Managers and Their Social Networks Shape Job Market Outcomes
39 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2014 Last revised: 31 May 2014
Date Written: March 29, 2014
Individuals, as human brands, “market themselves” to become appealing to prospective parties, such as employers. Yet the responsibility of marketing a human brand rarely falls on an individual alone: mentors, agents, academic advisors, and other individuals actively market the human brand as well. We introduce the term “human brand manager” to describe these individuals, and propose that their social networks play an important role in the success of the human brands they manage. Such networks may be actively used to influence the human brand manager’s contacts or may also serve as an additional signaling mechanism for the human brands. This proposition is tested in the context of the marketing job market. We uncover unobservable communities of academic advisors using a community detection algorithm on placement and coauthoring patterns. When advisors belong to dense communities, candidates can benefit from additional salary gains, up to $23,419.03 in the case of placement communities and $15,149.58 in the case of coauthorship communities, after controlling for candidate and departmental quality. This shows that human brand managers’ membership in diverse social networks shape job market outcomes, and that their role in signaling value is sometimes superior to the human brand’s quality.
Keywords: Social networks, human brands, research productivity, coauthorship, job market
JEL Classification: J40, J44, M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation