In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Social Evaluation: Status and Reputation

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • General Audience and Management Practitioner Books
  • Theoretical Foundations
  • Moderators of Status and Reputation
  • Relationship between Status and Reputation
  • Measures of Status and Reputation

Management Social Evaluation: Status and Reputation
Michael Jensen, Jusang Lee
  • LAST MODIFIED: 31 July 2019
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0167


Status and reputation are important forms of social evaluation that affect how individuals, organizations, and other social actors are perceived by their internal and external stakeholders and therefore their access to valuable resources and opportunities. The status of a social actor is defined as the hierarchical position the actor occupies within a social system, whereas reputation is a prediction of future behavior that is based on past behaviors and how the past behaviors met the role expectations to the occupied status position. Status and reputation are thus conceptually distinct but theoretically interdependent forms of social evaluations: meeting status-based role expectations is the inflection point from which positive and negative reputations form depending on the extent to which social actors exceed (positive reputation) or fail to meet (negative reputation) role expectations. Moreover, acquiring a positive or a negative reputation by exceeding or failing to meet the role expectations for a particular status position are important mechanisms to move up or down the status hierarchy. Despite the recent emphasis on the interdependence between status and reputation—see Michael Jensen, Heeyon Kim, and Bo Kyung Kim, “Meeting Expectations: A Role-Theoretic Perspective on Reputation” in The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Reputation, edited by Michael L. Barnett and Timothy G. Pollock, 140–159 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)—most theoretical and empirical research on status and reputation focus on either status or reputation, perhaps reflecting the different disciplinary roots of status in sociology and reputation in economics. This bibliography mirrors the different disciplinary roots by first outlining the theoretical foundations of status and reputation in sociology and economics and their migration to management before presenting a selective sample of empirical status and reputation research drawn mainly from management.

General Overviews

Status and reputation affect different types of social actors, including individuals, groups, organizations, industries, and countries. This bibliography focuses mainly on the importance of status and reputation for organizations and, to a lesser extent, individuals, competing in markets (see Stoverink 2015 for a bibliography on status within organizations). The literature on status and reputation is highly fragmented, encompassing different, often incompatible, perspectives on and definitions of status and reputation. Several recent reviews seek to summarize and synthesize the growing body of theoretical and empirical status and reputation research. Jensen, et al. 2011 and Jensen, et al. 2012 draw on status and reputation research in sociology and economics to discuss why it is theoretically and empirically important to distinguish between status and reputation and why they nevertheless are theoretically and empirically interdependent forms of social evaluations that cannot be fully separated. Sauder, et al. 2012 and Piazza and Castellucci 2014 provide detailed reviews of status research in sociology and management, and Bar-Isaac and Tadelis 2008 and Lange, et al. 2011 provide detailed reviews of reputation research in economics and management. Pearce 2011, Barnett and Pollock 2012, and Carroll 2016 curate collections of carefully chosen articles and encyclopedia entries on status and reputation that cover, systematically and comprehensively, not only a broad variety of theoretical and empirical research on status and reputation but also how status and reputation relate to other forms of social evaluation such as identity, legitimacy, stigma, and celebrity.

  • Bar-Isaac, Heski, and Steven Tadelis. “Seller Reputation.” Foundations and Trends in Microeconomics 4.4 (2008): 273–351.

    DOI: 10.1561/0700000027

    This article reviews research on reputation in economics. The article uses a game theory framework to organize reputation research.

  • Barnett, Michael L., and Timothy G. Pollock. The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Reputation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

    This handbook provides a collection of articles on corporate reputation. The handbook covers all aspects of corporate reputation including how reputation is different from other similar theoretical constructs, how reputation is gained and lost, how to repair reputation, how reputation works at different stages of the corporate life cycle, and how to measure reputation.

  • Carroll, Craig E. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Corporate Reputation. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2016.

    DOI: 10.4135/9781483376493

    This edited two-volume encyclopedia contains a comprehensive sample of entries on corporate reputation and related topics from a variety of academic discipline.

  • Jensen, Michael, Bo Kyung Kim, and Heeyon Kim. “The Importance of Status in Markets: A Market Identity Perspective.” In Status in Management and Organizations. Edited by Jone L. Pearce, 87–117. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

    This chapter introduces and develops a status-identity framework. Status is defined as a position in a social system and identity is a social category that codifies the expectations to that position. The status-identity framework is used to systematically review status research and to provide a theoretical framework for advancing status research.

  • Jensen, Michael, Heeyon Kim, and Bo Kyung Kim. “Meeting Expectations: A Role-Theoretic Perspective on Reputation.” In The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Reputation. Edited by Michael L. Barnett and Timothy G. Pollock, 140–159. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

    This chapter introduces a role-theoretic perspective on reputation. Rather than defining reputation as an actor-level construct, reputation is defined as an attribute- and audience-specific assessment that reflects whether actors have met the role expectations associated with their social position. The chapter integrates economic and sociological perspectives on reputation.

  • Lange, Donald, Peggy M. Lee, and Ye Dai. “Organizational Reputation: A Review.” Journal of Management 37.1 (2011): 153–184.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206310390963

    This article reviews research on reputation in management. The authors emphasize the proliferation of reputation definitions and use the distinction between being known, being known for something, and generalized favorability to systematize reputation research.

  • Pearce, Jone L. Status in Management and Organizations. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

    This book is an edited volume on status in management and organizations. It contains different chapters on status ranging from social psychological research on status in teams to strategy research on status in markets.

  • Piazza, Alessandro, and Fabrizio Castellucci. “Status in Organization and Management Theory.” Journal of Management 40.1 (2014): 287–315.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206313498904

    This review focuses on integrating past status research on two dimensions—level of analysis, and role of status hiearchies. The authors also provide conceptual clarification of status as well as the contribution status research brings to organizational theory.

  • Sauder, Michael, Freda Lynn, and Joel M. Podolny. “Status: Insights from Organizational Sociology.” Annual Review of Sociology 38 (2012): 267–283.

    DOI: 10.1146/annurev-soc-071811-145503

    This review synthesizes research on status at the product, organization, and market level. The authors emphasize three key issues: the consequences of status differences and their underlying mechanisms, reviewing research on status and networks, and status hierarchies.

  • Stoverink, Adam C. “Status in Organizations.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Management. Edited by Ricky W. Griffin, 2015.

    This article offers a comprehensive review of research on status within organizations. The author draws primarily from status research in the field of social psychology and sociology in their summary of micro- and meso-level status research.

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