Applied Insights Team
Internal Mobility of Frontline Workers
Internal mobility, defined as opportunities for advancement within an organization, is crucial to the career development and socioeconomic mobility of workers. Recognizing the importance of internal mobility in motivating and retaining their employees, organizations are continuously designing human resource practices to provide such pathways. However, frontline workers do not face the same opportunities for progression in their organizations as some other employees do. Instead, they are often deemed expendable. As a result, organizations experience high turnovers and shortages of frontline workers, which disrupts their ability to fill service orders and meet customer demand. As for the workers, they are left unable to accumulate the necessary skills or resources to progress in their jobs as they are forced to move across different organizations and industries throughout their careers.
In this project, we look to examine organizational factors influencing the internal career mobility of frontline workers. Specifically, we will identify organizational practices that promote or hinder the advancement of frontline workers and investigate their effects on employee productivity, retention, and organizational performance. We hope to provide insights to companies on (1) developing strategies that promote the growth and advancement of frontline workers and (2) understanding the relationship between such strategies and organizational performance, allowing them to make informed decisions to optimize their workforce and business strategies.
This team will work under the leadership of Professor Matthew Bidwell and Postdoctoral Researcher Dr. Doris Kwon, with support from the Wharton People Analytics team.