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Thesis Defence
The Influence of Networks on Perceived Career Outcomes

Lara Bertola, PhD candidate in the PhD programme ESCP

Lara Bertola, PhD candidate in the Paris Doctoral programme, publicly defendes his PhD thesis in Management Sciences.

11 June 2021


The present dissertation addresses the role of networks and their impacts on career outcomes. More specifically, it argues that specific network structures and dynamics trigger work opportunities and career advancement.

Organised around three individual but complementary research articles, this dissertation explores the occupancy of certain networks positions assumed to be suitable for career advancement, which are of particular interest to professional service firms.

Several researchers have established the significance of networks in organisations for motivation, promotions, and career success. Networking behaviour is the key to having access to unique resources. Specifically, recent research proposes that a specific position, such as a brokerage position, in the organisational context delivers many benefits.

Although network positions have been intensely studied, the literature still lacks a thorough understanding of the interaction between structural positions, psychological factors, how the network’s structure is perceived by actors, and motivation to act upon the opportunities offered by the structure, which may explicate certain dissimilarities over time in brokerage activities.

In contrast to previous explanations, this thesis argues that the outcomes of the relations between these variables can be seen from a different perspective.

In addition to the value created by the extant literature, this thesis seeks to explain how individuals construe and interpret their networks during their careers with a focus on gender issues.



  • Ms Claudia Jonczyk-Sedes,
    Professor, ESCP Business School / University of Neuchâtel


  • Mr Eric Davoine,
    Professor, University of Fribourg
  • Mr Patrice Laroche,
    Professor, University of Lorraine


  • Ms Claire Dambrin,
    Professor, ESCP Business School