Who calls it? Actors and accounts in the social construction of organizational moral failure

Lawrence, Thomas B., Shadnam, Masoud and Crane, Andrew Who calls it? Actors and accounts in the social construction of organizational moral failure. Journal of Business Ethics. (Accepted)

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Abstract

In recent years, research on morality in organizational life has begun to examine how organizational conduct comes to be socially constructed as having failed to comply with a community’s accepted morals. Researchers in this stream of research, however, have paid little attention to identifying and theorizing the key actors involved in these social construction processes and the types of accounts they construct. In this paper, we explore a set of key structural and cultural dimensions of apparent non-compliance that enable us to distinguish between four categories of actors who engage in constructing the label of moral failure: dominant insiders, watchdog organizations, professional members, and publics. The analysis further clarifies which category of actor is more likely to succeed in constructing the label of moral failure under which circumstances, and what accounts they are likely to use, namely: scapegoating, prototyping, shaming and protesting.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Account; Actor; Label; Legitimacy; Moral Failure; Morality; Social construction; Surveillance
Subject(s): Strategy
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2018 11:07
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2018 11:07
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/7194

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