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Status Rebellion: When Lower Status Firms Differentiate Pro Bono Reward Strategy

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Abstract:

In studying organizational adaptation, past research has demonstrated that an actor’s status produces distinctive motivation for organizational conformity. However, the current literature provides little explanation about behavioral decisions when an actor’s understanding of social standing is ambiguous. By taking a dyadic perspective, this study investigates how inter-firm status similarity affects management differentiation. Using the empirical context of the U.S. law firm pro bono reward policy expansion, I show that a law firm makes a distinctive decision in reward program design according to its relative status position with respect to its market competitors. When a law firm realizes lower status compared to its competitor, the firm tends to imitate the reward policy of the higher status competitor. However, without a clear distinction in status hierarchy, a lower status firm is more prone to differentiate its reward program with respect to its higher status rival. Furthermore, I show that the influence of status similarity is moderated by the common audience shared by rival firms. If two law firms share common corporate clients, the positive effect of status similarity on differentiation is dramatically increased.
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Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.asanet.org


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MLA Citation:

Jung, Wooseok. "Status Rebellion: When Lower Status Firms Differentiate Pro Bono Reward Strategy" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Montreal, Canada, Aug 12, 2017 <Not Available>. 2018-07-04 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1251611_index.html>

APA Citation:

Jung, W. , 2017-08-12 "Status Rebellion: When Lower Status Firms Differentiate Pro Bono Reward Strategy" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Montreal, Canada Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2018-07-04 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1251611_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In studying organizational adaptation, past research has demonstrated that an actor’s status produces distinctive motivation for organizational conformity. However, the current literature provides little explanation about behavioral decisions when an actor’s understanding of social standing is ambiguous. By taking a dyadic perspective, this study investigates how inter-firm status similarity affects management differentiation. Using the empirical context of the U.S. law firm pro bono reward policy expansion, I show that a law firm makes a distinctive decision in reward program design according to its relative status position with respect to its market competitors. When a law firm realizes lower status compared to its competitor, the firm tends to imitate the reward policy of the higher status competitor. However, without a clear distinction in status hierarchy, a lower status firm is more prone to differentiate its reward program with respect to its higher status rival. Furthermore, I show that the influence of status similarity is moderated by the common audience shared by rival firms. If two law firms share common corporate clients, the positive effect of status similarity on differentiation is dramatically increased.


Similar Titles:
Buffering-Resource or Status-Disconfirmation? How Socioeconomic Status Shapes the Relationship between Perceived Under-Reward and Distress

Large Law Firms, Pro Bono Publico, and Social Movements: Mapping the Elite Pro Bono Organizational Field

Between Strategy and Conformity: A Status-based Explanation of Academic Program Differentiation


 
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