Congratulations or condolences? The role of human capital in the cultivation of a university administrator
Administrative skill is essential to organizational effectiveness. Yet, few studies examine how human capital investments over a career affect selection into administration. We use panel data for economists to estimate the probability of choosing administration over a pure academic track. The results show that, while research-specific human capital reduces the probability of becoming an administrator, general human capital increases it. There are also inferior administrative opportunities for women that have not improved over time and variation in the role of human capital according to institutional research mission. Thus, our results suggest academic leaders are not merely born, but cultivated through their human capital investments.
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