The Experiences and Responses of Business Graduates to Employer Selection Mechanisms: A Case Study of a Private Business-Oriented Higher Education Provider

  • Roxanne Stockwell

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This thesis is a single site case study of the early-in-career job-hunting experience of 47 recent business graduates from a private London-based business-focused higher education provider during the period 2014-2018. This is a primarily qualitative mixed methods project, and provides an in-depth exploration of the phenomenon of the transition to work by using interviews and surveys to explore the job application and selection process as actually experienced by the Participants. It collects information on successful and unsuccessful applications, and on graduate scheme roles and general jobs. It specifically explores what skills, knowledge and attributes employers asked the graduates to demonstrate during the recruitment and selection process, and what other activities the Participants underwent in order to secure post-graduation work. It uses the conceptual framework of signalling theory as a lens to understand the transition to work phenomenon, with some references to the closely related concepts of positional conflict theory and human capital theory. It is intended to make a contribution to the literature on graduate job selection and signalling theory, and to explore some of the implications for higher education policy and professional practice in universities.
Date of Award2 Oct 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorRajani Naidoo (Supervisor) & Jurgen Enders (Supervisor)

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