Professor of Organisational Behaviour
Affirmation; Intragroup Processes; Performance Quality ;Self-threat; Status; Status Loss; Q31314 ;
Journal Article | Academy of Management Journal | 57 | February 2014
Falling from Great (And not so Great) Heights: Status Loss and Performance in Groups
The authors investigate how initial status position influences the quality of task performance in the aftermath of status loss.The authors argue that despite the benefits of having status, high-status individuals experience more self-threat and, consequently, have more difficulty performing well after status loss than do low-status individuals who experience a comparable loss of status.In a field study of professional baseball players (Study 1), the authors found that while low-status players' performance quality was unaffected by status loss, the quality of high-status players' performance declined significantly after losing status. In a high-involvement group experiment (Study 2) the authors found that high-status individuals who lost status were less proficient than both high-status individuals who did not lose status, and low-status individuals who lost a comparable amount of status. However, supporting the proposed self-threat mediation, self-affirmation restored the quality of high-status individuals' performance (Study 3).The authors discuss the practical and theoretical implications of these findings.