Semantic Reflections of Status Structure

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17 Apr 2024

12:30 -14:00

Times are shown in local time.

Open to: All

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Room W4.05 (Cambridge Judge Business School)

Trumpington St



United Kingdom

Join our Strategy and International Business seminar

Speaker: Professor Rodolphe Durand, HEC-Paris

About the seminar topic

Seminar Strategy and International Business.

The study examines the relationship between institutionalised status hierarchies and audience perceptions, focusing on US universities ranked by US News. It investigates whether differences in status tiers correspond to differences in audience perceptions on Wikipedia and Reddit. Using natural language processing tools, the study finds that constrained gatekeepers, like Wikipedia, tend to reflect institutionalised status hierarchies more faithfully, whereas less constrained platforms like Reddit allow for greater heterogeneity in perceptions.

Differences in semantic dimensions between status tiers are more pronounced on Wikipedia, suggesting a reification of status boundaries by gatekeepers. However, extreme differences in status tiers are consistently reflected in audience perceptions across both platforms. The study contributes to understanding how gatekeepers shape collective perceptions of status hierarchies, highlighting the nuanced role of new media in reflecting semantic structures onto social reality.

Speaker bio

Rodolphe Durand is the Joly Family Professor of Purposeful Leadership at HEC-Paris, and the Founder and Academic Director of the Sustainability and Organizations (S&O) Institute that he launched in 2009. Over the last decade, he has been a Visiting Professor at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford (UK), NYU and UCLA (USA), and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard (USA).

His research areas include corporate leadership and CSR policies, and their links to performance and competitive advantage. For his work, he has received awards from the American Sociological Association (2005) and the European Academy of Management (2010), was elected a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society (2014) and received an Honoris Causa from UC Louvain (2019).

As a consultant, senior advisor, and member of boards of directors and mission committees, he has helped numerous organisations establish their competitive advantage, develop, and implement strategies with strong social and environmental impact. He is the author of numerous books. Recently, with Antoine Frérot, CEO of Veolia, he co-authored The Boarder Vision of Business: Toward a New Narrative (Flammarion, 2021), and with Cécile de Lisle, the collaborative work En Quête de Sens: Dialogue between Top Leaders and Young Talents (Dunod, 2022).


No registration required. If you have any questions about this seminar, please email Luke Slater.