Interesting questions... to which there are probably no set answers. Not all dojos are the same. They are, however, similar in being microcosmic societies with their own cultures, perceived purposes and beliefs, and heirarchies serving to perpetuate the group.
The "alpha" members of the dojo are such because they generally are the "toughest", but not always. Of equal or greater importance is the fact of their seniority and their understanding of the dojo's culture and purpose/beliefs and their commitment to transmitting it down the hierarchy. Again, we are talking about perpetuation of the group.
Now, if a "gup" comes in and starts "beating" on the higher ranks. There is a challenge to the groups's order and, perhaps, its belief system. By the way, it is highly unlikely that the gup would be "beating" on the true alphas of the group. More likely it is the middle of the hierarchy (I explain more later). The group, especially the higher ups, will scrutinize closely the intent of the gup. If the gup is paying "proper respect" and is perceived as sincere, then s/he will eventually be accommodated into the hierarchy, not at the beta level but certainly not at the alpha level. Quite simply, the gup is seen as one with "raw" talent but not with the "understanding" and time put into perpetuating the dojo's belief system. The gup will have to demonstrate his/her evolving belief and understanding of the dojo's style to progress in the heirarchy. If done convincingly -- like dropping some of the "raw" (but effective) moves he demonstrated earlier on -- the gup can move up the hierarchy faster than others. But still, the time has to be put into the dojo and it's system.
Now, let's say the gup has an ego and is really interested in proving him/herself at the expense of those on the dojo's hierarchy. I assure you the gup will be in for a rough ride. Each and every turn, starting from the middle of the hierarchy on up (except for the top most part), the members be will going at the gup with a vengence. They have to because the gup is challenging the dojo's structure and belief system. If the gup is that talented, then the upper echelons will take the gup on. IF the gup prevails, he may still be asked or forced to leave for his/her perceive "impertinence". If the gup doesn't understand the "request" to leave, s/he may easily be "escorted" out by 2, 3 or more of the hierarchy.
If a person comes into a dojo and challenges the hierarchy, you may see a quick escalation of the above scenario. This person is "dojo buster" and not a gup. The gup (I think this JD's term) is a beginner who has signed on obstensibly to be "trained" (or inculcucated) into the dojo's system. The dojo buster will get no benefit of doubt and will be immediately taken care of one way or another. The perpetuation of the system and beliefs require forceful action.
There may be variations to the above scenarios because of "cultural" differences (e.g. how respect is shown) but I think the general pattern holds true.
I consider myself fortunate to have practice for awhile. I know people in different styles and have been to different dojos/kwoons/gyms. I learned early on, from my days at Hancock St. dojo no less, that one doesn't go into a dojo and try to look good at the expense of the hierarchy of the dojo. I had played the "enforcer" along with some of my other colleagues in these forums. It's real. It happens.
My approach to visiting dojos and, yes, joining some is never to try to make anyone of the hierarchy look "bad". If I spar, I try to match NOT supercede the "intensity" and skills of the person I am sparring with. I am not a "dojo buster". I am interested in learning, not taking on the dojo's structure, belief system, or whatever. I found this the best way to be welcomed and accepted into a dojo.
Another point, if you join a dojo and find that you may not agree entirely with the belief system (as reflected in the physical techniques), don't openly dis it but don't necessarily conform with it either. This is your training. If something doesn't conform with dojo but has proven to work for you, keep it (it may save your life someday). The thing here is that you may get some respect but you will likely not progress up the dojo's heirarchy because you have not shown and demonstrated your total commitment to the dojo's system. Is this trade-off worth it? It depends on why you're training.