Strategic allocation of human capital: executive appointments in multinational bank subsidiaries
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This dissertation explores (i) the determinants of executive selection in the international labor market, (ii) how these determinants shift relative to economic and institutional conditions, and (iii) how they differ for various functional roles. Using regression-based analysis and competitive assignment matching models, I examined executive appointment patterns in the subsidiaries of global banks located in Central & Eastern Europe between 2005 and 2012. The setting and timeframe not only yielded a heterogeneous sample of executive appointments under a variety of environmental conditions but also provided the opportunity to study the impact of financial shocks in the environment and/or the subsidiary network on executive succession during and in the aftermath of the Financial Crisis of 2008. The results indicate that there exists a substantial difference in appointment strategies by functional role, which remains intact regardless of the level of environmental uncertainty present in the subsidiary market. In examining the entire subsidiary executive team, the results of the two-sided competitive assignment matching model show that firm-specific human capital is the dominant determinant of an executive appointment during an economic upswing, but during an economic downturn firm-specific human capital is nearly four times weaker in driving an executive—subsidiary match than general human capital. Upon limiting the sample to just subsidiary CEOs, I find that while broad economic shocks and subsidiary-specific performance shocks both incite CEO turnover, they prompt different preferences for successors' human capital attributes. Specifically, country-wide economic crisis promotes a preference for local human capital, while performance shocks limited to the subsidiary are associated with a preference for expatriate human capital and for successors with broad international experience.