Gold Star vs. North Star Leaders: Role Orientations and Arbitrage in Crossing Sector Boundaries

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Gold Star vs. North Star Leaders: Role Orientations and Arbitrage in Crossing Sector Boundaries

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Title: Gold Star vs. North Star Leaders: Role Orientations and Arbitrage in Crossing Sector Boundaries
Author: Park, Pamela
Citation: Park, Pamela. 2016. Gold Star vs. North Star Leaders: Role Orientations and Arbitrage in Crossing Sector Boundaries. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Business School.
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Abstract: Through a qualitative study of professionals whose careers span the public and private sectors, I develop theory on boundary crossing in a career. I find that two role orientations – gold-star and north-star orientation – activate the boundary-crossing process. Gold-star oriented professionals seek to cross sectors to help society and focus on gaining authority by climbing well-institutionalized paths of career advancement. North-star oriented professionals seek to cross sectors to solve a complex societal problem and focus on gaining expertise by learning and building community around the problem. I introduce the concept of arbitrage, a narrative-based boundary-crossing strategy where professionals claim currencies, like status and knowledge, to craft a story of value creation for the new sector. After the boundary is crossed, I find these professionals enact their roles using two distinct adaptation behaviors, depending on their career orientation. Based on inductive analyses of 40 career stories, I propose a process model of how people cross sector boundaries over the course of a career.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:32744401
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