Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings includes abstracts of all papers and symposia presented at the annual conference, plus 6-page abridged versions of the “Best Papers” accepted for inclusion in the program (approximately 10%). Papers published in the Proceedings are abridged because presenting papers at their full length could preclude subsequent journal publication. Please contact the author(s) directly for the full papers.

Uncertainty, Status, and Networks: A Relational Approach to Optimal Distinctiveness Theory

    Throughout this paper, we suggest and operationalize a relational approach to the Optimal Distinctiveness Theory (ODT). By building a longitudinal model of network evolution between art galleries and artists between 2002 and 2004, we explain the emergence of peer alignment between galleries. We hypothesize and find that both galleries’ status differentials and uncertainty impact peer alignment between galleries. High-status galleries preserve their status by avoiding aligning with low-status galleries, whereas under heightened uncertainty conditions, galleries show an overall higher propensity of aligning with peers. Uncertainty and status differential have a joint effect on peer-alignment. Under uncertainty conditions, high-status galleries show yet lower odds of aligning with lower-status peers. Thus, the paper brings a novel approach to operationalization of peer alignment within social network modeling and contributes to the understanding the role of status and uncertainty to explain the emergence of ties, under the lens of Optimal Distinctiveness Theory.

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