Product Categories as Judgment Devices: The Moral Awakening of the Investment Industry

Organization Science (Forthcoming)

HEC Paris Research Paper No. SPE-2018-1325

50 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2018 Last revised: 24 Jan 2019

See all articles by Diane-Laure Arjaliès

Diane-Laure Arjaliès

Ivey Business School at Western University

Rodolphe Durand

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy

Date Written: November 30, 2018

Abstract

Product categories are more than classification devices that organize markets; when reflecting market actors' purposes, they are also judgment devices. Taking stock of the literature on product categories and drawing on the distinction between the faculties of knowing and judging, we elaborate a framework that accounts for how and why market actors include or exclude normative attributes in a product category definition. Based on a field study of the development of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) funds in France, we describe the phases and conditions of a judgment framework for category definition, for both established and nascent categories. We discuss implications for research on product categories and the workings of markets more broadly.

Keywords: Categories, Purpose, Norms, Morals, Markets, Investment Industry, Socially Responsible Investment (SRI)

JEL Classification: Z10, Z13, Q56, Q58, Q01, M14

Suggested Citation

Arjaliès, Diane-Laure and Durand, Rodolphe, Product Categories as Judgment Devices: The Moral Awakening of the Investment Industry (November 30, 2018). Organization Science (Forthcoming); HEC Paris Research Paper No. SPE-2018-1325. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3293993

Diane-Laure Arjaliès (Contact Author)

Ivey Business School at Western University ( email )

London, Ontario
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.ivey.uwo.ca/faculty/directory/diane-laure-arjalies/

Rodolphe Durand

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy ( email )

Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

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