Peer Influence and the Choice of it Careers

Langer, N and Jain, T (2015) Peer Influence and the Choice of it Careers. Working Paper. Indian School of Business.

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The productivity of the Information Technology (IT) and IT enabled Services (ITeS) industry depends critically on the supply of high quality human capital. While existing research has examined the role of education and training on the human capital in this industry, little research informs the role of peer influences on the decision to pursue IT/ITeS careers. Focusing on managerial employees, we examine the influence of peers on the choice to pursue information technology careers in India. Specifically, we analyze data on student networks at a leading business school where students are exogenously assigned to peer groups, and link these to students’ choice of post-program careers in the IT industry. Although before the program, students have experience in both IT and non-IT fields, they may switch roles and/or industries after the program. For instance, some may pursue IT roles in non-IT sectors such as retail, whereas others may pursue non-IT roles such as strategy and sales in IT companies. We posit that such career choices may be informed and driven not only by own motivation and ability, but also by the influence of peers. Our findings reveal that being part of a group that includes peers who have worked in IT increases the likelihood of accepting an offer in the IT industry. However, counter-intuitively, we find that if a student has had no IT experience, having IT peers decreases the likelihood of accepting a job in the IT industry. In other words, IT peers discourage non-IT peers from being part of the IT industry.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Subjects: Business and Management
Human Resources Management
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2016 10:05
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2023 12:39

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