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Gino Cattani is currently associate professor of strategy and organizations at the Stern School of Business, New York University. He received an MA in management science and applied economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001 and a PhD in management from Wharton in August 2004. His research focuses primarily on firm heterogeneity, technological change, and micro-determinants of industry dynamics, and recently on the social-structural determinants creativity. His research has been published in the Administrative Science Quarterly, Industrial and Corporate Change, and Organization Science. He has been an active member of the Academy since 1999. He is a member of the editorial board of Strategic Management Journal, and Strategic Organization.
Consecration represents the most definitive form of legitimation in every cultural field. Complementing previous research focused on individual, contextual, and structural…
Consecration represents the most definitive form of legitimation in every cultural field. Complementing previous research focused on individual, contextual, and structural conditions underpinning consecration, this paper takes a sequence analytical perspective and explores whether diverse creative trajectories are more frequently associated with consecration. We introduce the notion of signature style and the pace of category spanning as key features for consecration. We argue that a consecrated signature style is just as likely to result from a producer’s adherence to a specific style over time or from a consistent (and fast-paced) category-spanning creative trajectory. The resulting identity will be specialist in the first case, eclectic in the second. We analyze the stylistic trajectories of 863 electronic music artists and find robust support to our hypothesis. The analysis is corroborated by further exploratory findings that identify intriguing questions for future research. By examining the organization of creative journeys in the career of cultural producers, this paper emphasizes the importance of considering the unfolding and rhythm of creativity over time. This temporal perspective sheds new light on the dynamics of distinctiveness and consecration in cultural fields.
This work addresses how consumer perceptions of quality may be influenced by the composition of competition. I develop a theoretical framework that explains how consumer…
This work addresses how consumer perceptions of quality may be influenced by the composition of competition. I develop a theoretical framework that explains how consumer evaluations of quality can be negatively impacted by a product's stylistic similarity to popular competitors. These issues are examined empirically using more than 75,000 online consumer evaluations, from the evaluation aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, of 123 feature films released in the United States during 2007. Results suggest that during a movie's opening week, movies that are stylistically similar to the top-performing box office movie are evaluated less favorably. Additional analyses indicate that this negative effect may persist in later periods due to social conformity pressures, and that there is reduced demand for those movies that are stylistically similar to the top box office performer. This article contributes to the broader literature in strategic management by depicting how stylistic features of competitors can affect consumer behaviour and perceptions of quality in markets. This work also suggests managerial implications for entry-timing decisions and positioning choices.
Building on sociological research that examines the allocation of rewards in peer evaluations, we argue that the recognition of cultural producers’ work varies with their…
Building on sociological research that examines the allocation of rewards in peer evaluations, we argue that the recognition of cultural producers’ work varies with their status and social distance from the audience members who evaluate them. We study the influence of these two mechanisms within the context of the Norwegian advertising industry. Specifically, we looked at how cultural producers’ status and social distance from jury members affect their chances of being honored in “The Silver Tag” – one of the main digital advertising award contests in Norway – during the period 2003–2010. While our findings provide support for status-based rewards allocation, the positive effects of status may be more circumscribed than previously thought. When accounting for the existence of previous connections between audience members and cultural producers, we find that cultural producers are more or less likely to receive an accolade depending on their degree of separation from the audience members. By exposing network-based determinants of consecrating decisions, and suggesting that the positive effects of status may be more circumscribed than previously thought, our findings shed important light on the social foundations of evaluation and, more broadly, the mechanisms of reward allocation in cultural fields.
Strategy scholars have widely recognized the central role that narratives play in the construction of organizational identities. Moreover, storytelling is an important…
Strategy scholars have widely recognized the central role that narratives play in the construction of organizational identities. Moreover, storytelling is an important strategic asset that firms can leverage to inspire employees, excite investors and engage customers' attention. This chapter illustrates how advancements in computational linguistic may offer opportunities to analyze the stylistic elements that make a story more convincing. Specifically, we use a topic model to examine how narrative conventionality influences the performance of 78,758 craftsmen selling their handmade items in the digital marketplace of Etsy. Our findings provide empirical evidence that effective narratives display enough conventional features to align with audience expectations, yet preserve some uniqueness to pique audience interest. By elucidating our approach, we hope to stimulate further research at the interface of style, language and strategy.
How do cultural organizations handle the competing demands of isomorphism and differentiation? Strategic balance theory is a promising point of departure. Proponents argue…
How do cultural organizations handle the competing demands of isomorphism and differentiation? Strategic balance theory is a promising point of departure. Proponents argue that while isomorphism contributes to legitimacy, differentiation minimizes competition through innovation or niche control. However, most research has focused on successful cases of optimal performance in core or world cities. I introduce data from three seasons (250+ hours) of ethnographic research on fashion weeks in both a core city and semi-peripheral city. I find that geography acts as a structural barrier to competition: while semi-peripheral producers pursue some standards of fashion capitals in world cities, they cannot compete on the basis of style. Rather than optimizing through strategic balance, cultural organizations embrace a double edge of legitimation. Their sub-optimal vision of organizational survival cultivates legitimacy from available but symbolically polluting sources. Imperfect imitation is suggested instead as a viable legitimation strategy. I call for more attention to semi-peripheral geography and imperfect imitation in culture industry research.
The last several years have witnessed a growing scholarly interest in project-based organizations. This interest mirrors the diffusion of this organizational form across a…
The last several years have witnessed a growing scholarly interest in project-based organizations. This interest mirrors the diffusion of this organizational form across a wide range of industries, well beyond those where organizations traditionally have been organized by projects. To date, however, research on project-based organizations has not yet offered a systematic investigation of the interactions between project-based organizing and strategic management research. An examination of the existing literature indicates that some of the answers to key strategy questions remain incomplete, at times contradictory, and at best ambiguous. This volume moves the discussion to the next level by offering a comprehensive yet integrated view of cutting-edge research on project-based organizing to shed light on some of these ambiguities and clarify the relationship between project-based organizing and strategic management. To accomplish this, the volume includes the contributions of several leading scholars who have been active researchers on this subject. The chapters develop and extend key strategic aspects of project-based organizing, raise many new important questions, and identify fruitful areas for future research.