City Research Online

Friends, Cliques and Gifts: Social Proximity and Recognition in Peer-Based Tournament Rituals

Aadland, E., Cattani, G. & Ferriani, S. ORCID: 0000-0001-9669-3486 (2019). Friends, Cliques and Gifts: Social Proximity and Recognition in Peer-Based Tournament Rituals. Academy of Management Journal, 62(3), pp. 883-917. doi: 10.5465/amj.2016.0437


Two main accounts of the effect of proximity between candidates competing for recognition and members of the evaluating audience in the underlying social structure can be extrapolated from extant literature on peer-based tournament rituals and cultural fields. Following a Bourdieusian tradition, one account – which we label self-reproduction – insists on the catalyzing effect of social proximity in shaping recognition along relational lines. Drawing from recent scholarship on social evaluation, a second account – which we label intellectual distance – suggests that social proximity deters recognition. We probe the influence of different articulations of social proximity (i.e., direct ties, cliquishness and reciprocity) on recognition by studying awarding decisions within the context of the Norwegian advertising industry. Interviews with key informants and econometric results suggest that, while self-reproduction tends to prevail over intellectual distance, these effects co-exist and their relative influence varies across levels of recognition. We gauge the relative saliency of the two accounts by using a mix-method approach. Important implications for research on social evaluation and recognition in peer-based tournament rituals are drawn.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Peer evaluation, audiences, jury, direct ties, reciprocity, cliques/clans, status, awards, recognition, tournament rituals, cultural fields, advertising
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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