Forging Consensus: An Integrated View of How Categories Shape the Perception of Organizational Identity

Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 51, 327-353

28 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2016 Last revised: 29 Mar 2017

See all articles by Lionel Paolella

Lionel Paolella

University of Cambridge- Judge Business School

Amanda Sharkey

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Date Written: March 1, 2017

Abstract

This article integrates two approaches – the “categorization as a theoretical tool” and the “typicality judgment” – that both emphasize audience confusion as a mechanism through which category spanners become devalued or ignored. However, the two perspectives differ in their specification of why confusion will likely lead to devaluation or ignoring. In this study, we consider the interplay of these two approaches in the setting of corporate law market. We find that spanning product categories has a U-shaped relationship with perceived clarity of law firm identity. Although neither of the two perspectives alone can explain our findings, they can do so together.

Keywords: category, evaluation, identity, law firms

Suggested Citation

Paolella, Lionel and Sharkey, Amanda, Forging Consensus: An Integrated View of How Categories Shape the Perception of Organizational Identity (March 1, 2017). Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 51, 327-353. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2818331

Lionel Paolella (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge- Judge Business School ( email )

Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/faculty-research/faculty-a-z/lionel-paolella/

Amanda Sharkey

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
79
Abstract Views
369
rank
307,549
PlumX Metrics