RRBM Honor Roll

The RRBM Honor Roll publications have been selected as examples of research that is both rigorous and relevant. The listing below offers credible insights for society.

These publications have been selected for the RRBM Honor Roll by the Selection Board with the exception of 2019 articles selected by a pre-test review panel.


Nature of the publicationJournal article
Title of the publicationOvercoming Conflict between Symmetric Occupations: How “Creatives” and “Suits” Use Gender Ordering in Advertising
Journal name/Book publisherAcademy of Management Journal

In knowledge-based organizations, conflict among interdependent occupations can be exacerbated by the absence of a clear hierarchical ordering of these occupations within the organization. Moreover, given women’s inroads into some traditionally male-dominated occupations but not others, these workplaces are increasingly horizontally gender segregated. In this paper, we study how members of these symmetric and segregated occupations manage conflict in U.S. advertising agencies through the case of relationships between ‘creatives’ (copywriters, designers, and creative directors) and ‘suits’ or account practitioners (account executives, strategists, and managers). Creatives and suits are at the same organizational level in their agencies. While creatives are primarily men, suits, traditionally also men, are now primarily women. Drawing on participant observation in five different U.S. advertising agencies and over 100 interviews, we show how creatives and account practitioners use gender ordering to overcome jurisdictional conflict. These practices are grounded in enacting essentialist gender differences that transform symmetric occupational relationships into hierarchical ones by embedding the gender hierarchy. We find that while gender ordering helps women and men in cross-occupational pairs get work done, it also reinforces women’s disadvantage because for women it involves low-status and emotionally taxing scut work that it does not involve for men.

Author #1Sharon Koppman
Affiliation Author #1University of California, Irvine
Author #2Beth A Bechky
Affiliation Author #2University of California, Davis
Author #3Andrew C Cohen
Affiliation Author #3Yale University