I read today Jon K. Maner’s paper “Dominance and Prestige: A Tale of Two Hierarchies “.
Dominance and prestige are two distinct mechanism navigate in the to social ladder. Dominance is an evolutionary more ancient strategy, and is based on the ability to intimidate other members in the group by physical size and strength. The group members don’t accept the social rank freely, only by coercion. Prestige is based on skills and knowledge appraised by the community, and it is maintained without pressure. It is not a surprise, that the people adopting different strategies differ in their personality traits. People using dominance are more aggressive, manipulative, and narcissistic. However, people who use prestige instead are more conscientiousness, had higher self-esteem, and are able to make agreement with others. Both strategies might have some negative consequences. Dominant leaders has a higher priority is to keep power than to achieve group goals, while leaders having prestige sometimes prioritize their social approval over group goals.
Several years earlier Cheng JT and his coauthors also analyzed the two pathways:
They gave examples for the two ways:
From 1945 to 1980, Henry Ford II—grandson of Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company—built Ford into the second largest industrial corporation worldwide, amidst a turbulent post World War II economy. Ford II attained his success, in part, by developing a reputation for erratic outbursts of temper and unleashing humiliation and punishment at will upon his employees, who described him as a terrorizing dictator, bigot, and hypocrite. When challenged or questioned by subordinates, Ford II would famously remind those who dared contradict him, “My name is on the building”. Yet, despite being widely regarded as one of the most intimidating and autocratic CEOs to ever grace the company, Ford II was an enormously successful leader, and he has been credited with reviving the Ford business legend during a period of turmoil and crisis (Iacocca, 1984).
A contrasting example of effective leadership can be seen in the case of Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, who was ranked the world’s third wealthiest person in 2010. Unlike Ford II, Buffett ran his company by developing a reputation for subtly steering rather than controlling every decision-making process. His autonomy-generating approach to leadership is said to instill confidence and boost performance among his executives, whom Buffett describes as brilliant coworkers he trusts and respects. Buffett thus exemplifies a style of leadership quite opposite to that of Ford II, yet both individuals reached what can only be considered the highest level of social status possible in any industry. This raises the question: are here multiple ways of attaining social status and influence in human societies?
Please, could you write examples for the two prototypes! (My Hungarian fellows: please please forget about the present day local “heroes”!