chapter  9
28 Pages

Job Search Chains and Embedded Resources: A Comparative Analysis Among Taiwan, China and the US


This chapter examines social resources embedded in personal contacts in job search chains and their eff ects on status attainment. This is an important but neglected topic in the literature. This chapter investigates the factors involved in the construction of network chains and their eff ect on reaching contacts with certain status resources. Past research on the use of contacts in job searches has mostly focused on direct ties, assuming that the contact is the only link between the job seeker and the employer (i.e., job seeker-contact-employer), with a few exceptions that consider the possibility that job seekers and their ultimate helpers may be indirectly connected through intermediaries, meaning there is a third party between the contact and the employer (i.e., job seeker-contact-intermediary-employer; see Bian 1997; Bian and Ang 1997). Lin (2004) pioneered an interview design that asks about and measures the full job search chains, extending beyond the two intermediary nodes referred to in previous research. With full information of the job search chains, researchers are equipped with a much more accurate measurement to assess the strength and content of the ties and resources embedded in job seekers’ networks. Aggregation of such indexes and their returns off ers comparisons across gender groups as well as across societies, thus gaining a better understanding of how social capital yields returns through diff erent contacts in diff erent groups and societies.