Date of Award

12-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Economic and Workforce Development

Committee Chair

Cyndi Gaudet

Committee Chair Department

Economic and Workforce Development

Committee Member 2

Heather Annulis

Committee Member 2 Department

Economic and Workforce Development

Committee Member 3

Brian Richard

Committee Member 3 Department

Economic and Workforce Development

Committee Member 4

Patti Phillips

Committee Member 4 Department

Economic and Workforce Development

Abstract

The study examined the relationship between social capital and career success among welfare to work participants in a Louisiana program from 2007 to 2009. Based on the high percentage who do not complete the Louisiana STEP program, outcomes from 2007 to 2009 suggest current STEP work activities may not prepare participants for career success and may neglect the development of social capital (e.g. networking skills). The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between social capital and the ability to produce social resources and social network benefits for the attainment of career success as perceived by welfare to work participants in Louisiana. Using Granovetter’s (1973, 1995) Strength of Ties theory and Seibert, Liden & Kraimer’s (2001) Social Capital Theory for Career Success, this study integrates social capital theory and career success to understand their influence on welfare to work participants in Louisiana. Social networks of welfare to work participants are assessed to identify the social resources utilized on the job, and the network benefits they produce. Finally, this study examines social capital’s effects on a full set of career outcomes (e.g. current salary, promotions over entire career, and career satisfaction) for welfare to work participants.

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