Starjournal Quotation Delmestri, Giuseppe, Greenwood, Royston. 2016. How Cinderella Became a Queen: Theorizing Radical Status Change. Administrative Science Quarterly , 1-44.




Using a case study of the Italian spirit grappa, we examine status recategorizationthe vertical extension and reclassification of an entire market category. Grappa was historically a low-status product, but in the 1970s one regional distiller took steps that led to a radical break from its traditional image, so that in just over a decade high-quality grappa became an exemplar of cul- tured Italian lifestyle and held a market position in the same class as cognac and whisky. We use this context to articulate theorization by allusion, which occurs through three mechanisms: category detachmentdistancing a social object from its existing category; category emulationpresenting that object so that it hints at the practices of a high-status category; and category sublimationshifting from local, field-specific references to broader, societal- level frames. This novel theorization is particularly appropriate for explaining change from low to high status because it avoids resistance to and contesta- tion of such change (by customers, media, and other sources) as a result of sta- tus imperatives, which may be especially strong in mature fields. Unlike prior studies that have examined the status of organizations within a category, ours foregrounds shifts in the status and social meaning of a market category itself.


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Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Administrative Science Quarterly
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A+
Starjournal Y
Language English
Title How Cinderella Became a Queen: Theorizing Radical Status Change
Year 2016
Page from 1
Page to 44
Reviewed? Y


Delmestri, Giuseppe (Details)
Greenwood, Royston (University of Alberta, Canada)
Institute for Change Management and Management Development IN (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5307 Business and management economics (Details)
5324 Organizational research (Details)
5333 Business management (Details)
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