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From La Bohème to La Wally: How Organizational Status Affects the (Un)conventionality of Opera Repertoires

Author

Listed:
  • Giulia Cancellieri

    () (IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies)

  • Massimo Riccaboni

    () (IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies)

Abstract

In this paper we examine the relationship between organizational status and nonconformity in complex institutional fields characterized by the enduring tension between divergent institutional logics. First, we hypothesize the existence of an inverted U-shaped (IUS) relationship between status and nonconformity. Second, we argue that legitimacy and celebrity enhancing signals, that complement the external perception of a firm’s market identity, moderate the relationship between status and nonconformity, by springing up or inhibiting opportunities for firms to protect vs. raise their status position through high status patterns of affiliations. Specifically, we argue that while celebrity enhancing efforts reinforce middle status nonconformist behaviors by emphasizing the exceptional and positive valence of their nonconformist undertakings, legitimacy enhancing signals constraint middle status deviant behaviors and reverse the IUS curve. Unveiling the taken-for-granted traits of their identities hampers middle status ambition to raise the social hierarchy through nonconformity but fosters low and high status freedom of deviance through a reinforced security in their social position. We found strong support for our arguments in statistical analysis of 42 Italian opera houses repertoires from 2004 to 2011. We synthesize our findings by offering an integrated framework on how the interplay between status, legitimacy and celebrity enhancing signals affects organizations’ ability to depart from established institutional frameworks under conditions of institutional complexity.

Suggested Citation

  • Giulia Cancellieri & Massimo Riccaboni, 2015. "From La Bohème to La Wally: How Organizational Status Affects the (Un)conventionality of Opera Repertoires," Working Papers 5/2015, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, revised May 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:ial:wpaper:5/2015
    as

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    File URL: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/2690/1/WP_2015_5.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2015
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    6. James Heilbrun, 2001. "Empirical Evidence of a Decline in Repertory Diversity among American Opera Companies 1991/92 to 1997/98," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 25(1), pages 63-72, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Status; Nonconformity; Institutional logics; Identity; Legitimacy; Celebrity; Opera and Arts;

    JEL classification:

    • M1 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration

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