A PhD alumnus of Cambridge Judge, Trin Thananusak, won a Best Paper Award in Strategic Management at the 16th European Academy of Management’s (EURAM) conference, Manageable Co-operation, held in Paris in June.
Trin’s paper, entitled “Managing multiple statuses”, was co-authored with Shahzad Ansari, Professor of Strategy & Innovation at Cambridge Judge. Trin completed his PhD earlier this year, with Shahzad as his supervisor.
Trin’s paper looks at the puzzle of how high-status organisations cope with the challenges of embracing innovative but low-status practices. This paper shows that higher-status organisations may obtain various benefits such as higher profits, better performance and access to new opportunities from their status. However, high-status organisations may need to manage multiple statuses at the same time in order to maintain the overall status of the organisation.
For example, the prestigious status of iPhone in the smartphone market enabled Apple to generate a higher profit margin than rival companies. Today, Apple has to manage the status of several products in order to maintain the value of the brand. It needs to uphold the status of its iPhone and iPad whilst trying to establish the high status of its new Apple Watch in the watch market. Moreover, Apple needs to sustain its overall organisational status by consistently offering innovative and high-quality products to meet the expectations of consumers.
Despite the increasing importance of these multiple statuses within organisations, scholars still know very little about how high-status organisations cope with the challenges that managing multiple statuses present. Trin’s paper explains how high-status organisations uphold their multiple statuses, and in particular, when they need to embrace a novel but low-status practice.
The paper uses the case of a high-status European academic publisher and shows how it implements the novel and disruptive Open Access publishing programme whilst striving to uphold its prestigious status. The paper also suggests the factors and conditions that affect the effectiveness of the status maintenance process.