Promotion to Partner in Professional Service Firms

Morris, Tim and Pinnington, Ashly (1998) Promotion to Partner in Professional Service Firms. Human Relations, 51 (1). pp. 3-24.


A shift away from "up-or-out," the conventional promotion system in professional service firms, has been explained as part of a wider set of changes in internal labor market arrangements and management methods. This is investigated empirically in a sample of large partnerships in one profession. Up-or-out was used by less than one-third of the sample of firms but is common among the largest firms. Internal reforms to the professional firm do not fully explain its rarity; up-or-out appears to be adaptable to new forms of management and internal labor market policies. This raises a number of questions about the utility of theoretical explanations of how professional service firms work or are changing.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: professions, professional firms, promotion systems, up-or-out
Subject(s): Professional services
Corporate reputation
Centre: Centre for Professional Firms
Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2011 14:33
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:05

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