Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Management (Business Administration)

First Advisor

Arthur G. Bedeian


This study contends that previous investigations into the nature of internal labor markets have been hampered by their dependence on various macro-level variables (e.g., sectors, industries, strategies) that ignore the often wide variation of employment arrangements within individual firms. It proposes that a better understanding of the employment arrangements associated with individual jobs may be gained by not only examining a job's technological components, but also the relative power of a firm's various coalitions. The data used in the reported study were acquired from the headquarters of the U.S. Bureau of Employment and Training's Occupational Field Analysis Centers in Raleigh, NC, and described 250 jobs in nineteen firms operating in six industries. They were collected between 1986 and 1990. Eight hypotheses were tested using hierarchical multiple regression. Results indicate that employment arrangements are at least in part the result of bargaining (both explicit and implicit) over definitions of work and the relative power of the parties involved in such negotiations. That is, that the inclusion of jobs in internal labor markets is a function of the power employees have over the actual labor process (i.e., task interdependence and jobholder choice) and the power employees have to restrict available labor supplies in the external market (i.e., union representation and firm-specific skills).