UCL School of Management is delighted to welcome,Siyu Yu, Stern,to host a research seminar discussing ‘ Knowing Where Others Stand: Accuracy and Performance Effects of Individuals’Perceived Status Hierarchies’
Status hierarchies are perhaps the single most important form of social structure within groups, ubiquitous and affecting groups’ information flow, decision-making, and performance as well as the behavior and outcomes of individual members. The extent to which individuals are able to accurately perceive and navigate their groups’ status hierarchies may thus be a critical determinant of their success. Research to date, however, has largely overlooked the role of individuals’ perceptions of status hierarchies. We introduce the concept of perceived status hierarchies, or individuals’ mental representations of their groups’ status hierarchies. Across four field studies, involving students in university cohorts and working adults, we find substantial variance in individuals’ perceived status hierarchies, and that individuals with more accurate perceptions exhibit higher performance. Analyses of individuals’ networking behavior reveals that individuals with more accurate perceived status hierarchies have contact with higher status others on average, which mediates the positive association between accuracy and performance. This work makes important contributions by extending existing theories of status, connecting the literatures on status and social networks, and providing a comprehensive test of the consequences of accurate perceptions of social structure for individual networking behavior and performance outcomes.