Who Calls It? Actors and Accounts in the Social Construction of Organizational Moral Failure

Masoud Shadnam, Andrew Crane, Thomas B. Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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 noncompliance 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.
LanguageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Early online date13 Dec 2018
DOIs
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Account
  • Actor
  • Label
  • Legitimacy
  • Moral failure
  • Morality
  • Social construction
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law

Cite this

Who Calls It? Actors and Accounts in the Social Construction of Organizational Moral Failure. / Shadnam, Masoud; Crane, Andrew; Lawrence, Thomas B.

In: Journal of Business Ethics, 13.12.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{72dc4177c67e44209879508e2167351d,
title = "Who Calls It? Actors and Accounts in the Social Construction of Organizational Moral Failure",
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 noncompliance 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.",
keywords = "Account, Actor, Label, Legitimacy, Moral failure, Morality, Social construction, Surveillance",
author = "Masoud Shadnam and Andrew Crane and Lawrence, {Thomas B.}",
year = "2018",
month = "12",
day = "13",
doi = "10.1007/s10551-018-4089-6",
language = "English",
journal = "Journal of Business Ethics",
issn = "0167-4544",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Who Calls It? Actors and Accounts in the Social Construction of Organizational Moral Failure

AU - Shadnam, Masoud

AU - Crane, Andrew

AU - Lawrence, Thomas B.

PY - 2018/12/13

Y1 - 2018/12/13

N2 - 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 noncompliance 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.

AB - 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 noncompliance 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.

KW - Account

KW - Actor

KW - Label

KW - Legitimacy

KW - Moral failure

KW - Morality

KW - Social construction

KW - Surveillance

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85058466777&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s10551-018-4089-6

DO - 10.1007/s10551-018-4089-6

M3 - Article

JO - Journal of Business Ethics

T2 - Journal of Business Ethics

JF - Journal of Business Ethics

SN - 0167-4544

ER -