The Dark Side Of Status: Status Distance And Change As Determinants Of Damaging Intragroup Behavior
Most prior research on informal status in groups has used ordinal, ranked-based status differences (i.e., higher-status vs. lower-status) to predict interpersonal behavior. In this research I introduce several additional measures of status differences - status distance and status distance change - and demonstrate that variance along these dimensions predicts interpersonal behavior even while rank-based status differences are held constant. Specifically, across three studies I show that differences in status distance exist (Study 1), and that such status distance and changes in that distance can have an interactive effect on damaging intragroup behaviors (i.e., social undermining, information withholding) that cannot be explained by ordinal differences alone (Studies 2 and 3). In addition, I find support for my theory that certain combinations of status distance and prior changes in that distance can elicit concerns over losing status, which in turn promotes harmful behaviors among group members. Implications for this research are discussed in terms of the utility of developing dynamic status models and the dilemma posed when balancing one's own personal status concerns with the best interests of the group.
status; status change; intragroup processes
O'Connor, Kathleen M
Detert, James Roland; Frank, Robert H; Regan, Dennis Thomas; Spataro, Sandra Elizabeth
Ph. D., Management
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis