Organization Management Journal


This exploratory study investigates the nature of contacts between executives and search firm professionals, which together encompass the executive search relationship. An initial scale was developed, reviewed by experts and tested. Factor analysis led to a revised scale for further testing, which based on multiple samples identified three types of executive search contacts: (1) search firminitiated contacts; (2) executive-initiated contacts; and (3) contacts for mutual benefit. Correlational studies among these types as well as related concepts in networking behavior are presented, showing executive search relationships to be a unique and distinct measure. A discussion of the executive search construct’s potential to enhance our understanding of the predictors of career success is provided, along with opportunities for further research.