This thesis looks at the antecedents of research productivity in business schools as part of a wider conversation on the development of occupational human capital in knowledge-intensive industries. Building upon the social capital and sociology of science literatures, the present study seeks to advance this conversation in two ways. First, it focuses on the consequences of academic researchers’ early-career and mid-career choices by exploring the interplay between organizational scripts and individual proactive behaviors, such as collaboration and mobility. Second, it introduces globalization-related factors into the conversation by exploring the roles of stratification and language in a multi-country context. The multi-level consensus between the drivers of individual performance which are explored in this thesis contributes to research on human capital-based competitive advantage in knowledge-intensive contexts.
The findings of this thesis indicate that mid-career proactive behavior can mitigate the negative consequences of early-career choices and support the development of individual research productivity. The findings also offer insights into the development of occupational human capital in an increasingly heterogeneous cohort of academics. They demonstrate that the absence of a fine-grained global stratification of the business school industry undermines the ability of academics with non-elite PhDs to engage in international mobility and reinforces social closure. Linguistic capital has a direct impact on productivity and also influences the value extracted from collaboration. The findings have practical implications for the development, selection, motivation, and retention of researchers. They may also inform the career decisions of individual researchers.