IACMR Research Seminar Series

IACMR Research Seminar Series Session #7

The Nearness of You: Competitive Rankings, Tiered Status Hierarchies, and Strategic Risk-taking
Speaker:Prof. Wei Shen,Arizona State University
Time: 9:00- 10:15 am, December 23, 2020 (Beijing Time)
Language: English


Competitive rankings quantify organizations based on certain attributes and position them in social orderings. In doing so, they often create status hierarchies that affect what organizations compete for and delineate whom they compete with. We theorize and predict how an organization’s status tier membership and its position within that tier differentially induce competition with nearly placed peers in the same, upper or lower tiers to enhance or maintain its status position. Our analyses of business group rankings in South Korea show that organizations in higher status tiers and those at the top of a given tier tend to engage in more acquisition activities to maintain or enhance their tier positions. Acquisition activities for organizations at the bottom of a status tier, however, are conditional upon the immediate threat to their survival in that tier from nearly placed peers at the top of the neighboring lower tier. Our theory and supportive findings contribute to the understanding of how positions in a tiered status hierarchy created by competitive rankings motivate strategic risk-taking by organizations.

Professor Wei Shen

Wei Shen is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship at the W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Peking University and Ph.D. in strategic management from Texas A&M University. He has been a core faculty member in both W. P. Carey’s highly ranked full-time MBA Program and the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Program with the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance. Prior to becoming department chair, he served as W. P. Carey’s Associate Dean for China Programs and Faculty Director of the China Executive MBA Program in collaboration with the Shanghai National Institute of Accounting. Before joining ASU, he had been on the faculty of Rutgers University, University of Florida, and Moscow School of Management’s SKOLKOVO Institute for Emerging Market Studies.  

Taking a behavioral approach, his research focuses on strategic decision makers and their impacts on organizations. He has published many empirical studies about top executives and corporate directors in the top-tier management journals, such as the Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, and Strategic Management Journal. He has also published several theoretical articles in the Academy of Management Review that explore the dynamics of the CEO-board relationship, managerial discretion, and the impact of leader departure on subordinates’ organizational attachment. He has served on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management and Governance, Management and Organization Review, and Strategic Management Journal. He is an Area Editor of the Chinese Quarterly Journal of Management, and an editor of the Empirical Methods in Organization and Management Research (3rd Edition).