Stigmatized Categories and Public Disapproval of Organizations: Theory and Evidence from the Global Arms Industry (1996-2007)


Jean-Philippe Vergne
Jean-Philippe Vergne
  • Speaker
HEC School of Management, HEC Paris

Event Information

Type
Research Seminar
Programme
Strategy & Entrepreneurship
Date
Thu. 25 Nov. 2010
Contact
Time
11:00-12:30 hours
E-mail
Location
G3-29
Number


Abstract

This paper draws on the categorization and stigmatization literatures to explain cross-firm variation in disapproval in contested industries. Disapproval represents the negative evaluations publicly conveyed about a firm. It is a strategic outcome that affects performance. Audiences categorize firms along several dimensions and some categories are stigmatized. Disapproval may be higher for firms associated with stigmatized categories, but firms can decrease disapproval by straddling additional categories, a phenomenon called stigma dilution. The paper argues that the effect of stigma dilution along any dimension of categorization is moderated by the saliency of that dimension among industry audiences. The theory is tested using qualitative and quantitative data from the global arms industry. Empirical results support the theory and show that 9/11 dramatically modified the saliency of the dimensions used by audiences to categorize arms producers.
 
Contact information:
Patricia de Wilde
Email
Pursey Heugens
Professor of Organization Theory, Development, and Change, Scientific Director ERIM, Dean of Research RSM
  • Coordinator