This study investigates what determines social actors’ motivations and opportunities to risk changing their current courses of action and the extent to which they are likely to change, by integrating structural and behavioral perspectives on decision making. Behavioral perspectives argue that performance relative to aspirations determines the actors’ risk preference and motivation to change, while structural perspectives suggest that the actors’ choices and actions are enabled and constrained by the opportunities surrounding their structural positions to form exchange relations with the external audiences. We propose a theoretical model of how the actors’ status, distinctiveness, and relative performance interact to influence their motivations and opportunities to change, resulting in differential responsiveness to relative performance in terms of the degree of change. This model is empirically examined and supported in the context of the U.S. feature film industry between 1986 and 2006, where film directors decide the distances of change in the genre repertoires for their next film project. Overall, this study shows the importance of considering the interactions between the structural and behavioral antecedents to understand when and how social actors make decisions to change in an attempt to survive and prosper in dynamic environments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management