The client-headhunter-candidate relationship from the agency theory perspective

  1. Baldo Ortiz, Carlos M.
Supervised by:
  1. Ramón Valle Director

Defence university: Universidad Pablo de Olavide

Fecha de defensa: 21 December 2015

  1. Fernando Martín Alcázar Chair
  2. Álvaro López Cabrales Secretary
  3. María de la Luz Fernández Alles Committee member

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 396118 DIALNET lock_openRIO editor


This dissertation posits, theoretically and empirically, that Agency Theory personal and organizational assumptions explain more fully and realistically than any other management theory the relationship in a business triad: Client-Headhunter-Candidate. Moreover, the dissertation develops research on the Executive Search Processes using third parties. This study identifies some situations in this triad relationship that may compromise the whole executive search process. The triad relationship is analyzed in dyads using the headhunter as a hinge between the two other parties. The central hypothesis is that Agency Theory presents more solid arguments and assumptions aligned with real-world situations than other management theories. This argument allows researchers to understand failures in the executive search process, creating the possibility of streamlining processes. The central hypothesis is reviewed and tested in few stages: first, by theoretical and context reviews on the triad relationship, and then in the dyad, headhunter-client. Furthermore, it tests in part the hypothesis in the dyad headhunter-candidate with data analyses derived from a survey among 202 candidates who have been contacted by headhunters. This dissertation provides contributions to management theory development with regard to the usage for Agency Theory on triads scenarios. This research presents the best explanation for a particular business triad like the client-headhunter-candidate triad. This thesis also provides contributions in the field of Human Resources Management. Another important contribution this study provides relates to the practitioners in the executive search profession and the individuals who use them as an outlet to develop their careers.