IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/jbuset/v165y2020i4d10.1007_s10551-018-4089-6.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

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

Author

Listed:
  • Masoud Shadnam

    () (MacEwan University)

  • Andrew Crane

    () (University of Bath)

  • Thomas B. Lawrence

    () (University of Oxford)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Masoud Shadnam & Andrew Crane & Thomas B. Lawrence, 2020. "Who Calls It? Actors and Accounts in the Social Construction of Organizational Moral Failure," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 165(4), pages 699-717, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:165:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s10551-018-4089-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-018-4089-6
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10551-018-4089-6
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marion Fourcade & Philippe Steiner & Wolfgang Streeck & Cornelia Woll, 2013. "Moral categories in the financial crisis: Discussion Forum," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/6ggbvnr6mun, Sciences Po.
    2. Rodolphe Durand & Jean-Philippe Vergne, 2015. "Asset divestment as a response to media attacks in stigmatized industries," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(8), pages 1205-1223, August.
    3. Bertels, Stephanie & Cody, Michael & Pek, Simon, 2014. "A Responsive Approach to Organizational Misconduct: Rehabilitation, Reintegration, and the Reduction of Reoffense," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 343-370, July.
    4. Carberry, Edward J. & Engelen, Peter-Jan & Van Essen, Marc, 2018. "Which Firms Get Punished for Unethical Behavior? Explaining Variation in Stock Market Reactions to Corporate Misconduct," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 119-151, April.
    5. Steven Dellaportas & Barry J. Cooper & Peter Braica, 2007. "Leadership, Culture and Employee Deceit: the case of the National Australia Bank," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(6), pages 1442-1452, November.
    6. Marion Fourcade & Philippe Steiner & Wolfgang Streeck & Cornelia Woll, 2013. "Moral Categories in the Financial Crisis," Sciences Po publications 13/1, Sciences Po.
    7. Gabbioneta, Claudia & Greenwood, Royston & Mazzola, Pietro & Minoja, Mario, 2013. "The influence of the institutional context on corporate illegality," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 484-504.
    8. Gillespie, Nicole & Dietz, Graham & Lockey, Steve, 2014. "Organizational Reintegration and Trust Repair after an Integrity Violation: A Case Study," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 371-410, July.
    9. Maria, William De, 2010. "After the scandal – Recovery options for damaged organizations," Journal of Management & Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 66-82, March.
    10. Paul Shrivastava & Olga Ivanova, 2015. "Inequality, corporate legitimacy and the Occupy Wall Street movement," Post-Print hal-01371711, HAL.
    11. Baur, Dorothea & Palazzo, Guido, 2011. "The Moral Legitimacy of NGOs as Partners of Corporations," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(4), pages 579-604, October.
    12. Marion Fourcade & Philippe Steiner & Wolfgang Streeck & Cornelia Woll, 2013. "Moral categories in the financial crisis," Post-Print hal-02384253, HAL.
    13. Marion Fourcade & Philippe Steiner & Wolfgang Streeck & Cornelia Woll, 2013. "Moral Categories in the Financial Crisis," Working Papers hal-02393514, HAL.
    14. Alexander Dyck & Adair Morse & Luigi Zingales, 2010. "Who Blows the Whistle on Corporate Fraud?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(6), pages 2213-2253, December.
    15. Paul Shrivastava & Olga Ivanova, 2015. "Inequality, corporate legitimacy and the Occupy Wall Street movement," Post-Print hal-01507993, HAL.
    16. Jay J. Janney & Steve Gove, 2017. "Firm Linkages to Scandals via Directors and Professional Service Firms: Insights from the Backdating Scandal," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 65-79, January.
    17. Azoulay, Pierre & Bonatti, Alessandro & Krieger, Joshua L., 2017. "The career effects of scandal: Evidence from scientific retractions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(9), pages 1552-1569.
    18. Shadnam, Masoud & Lawrence, Thomas B., 2011. "Understanding Widespread Misconduct in Organizations: An Institutional Theory of Moral Collapse," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 379-407, July.
    19. Tammy MacLean, 2008. "Framing and Organizational Misconduct: A Symbolic Interactionist Study," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 78(1), pages 3-16, March.
    20. Eero Vaara & Jeanne Tienari, 2008. "A Discursive Perspective on Legitimation Strategies in Multinational Corporations," Post-Print hal-02276724, HAL.
    21. Cynthia Hardy & Nelson Phillips, 1998. "Strategies of Engagement: Lessons from the Critical Examination of Collaboration and Conflict in an Interorganizational Domain," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 9(2), pages 217-230, April.
    22. Alessandro Piazza & Fabrizio Perretti, 2015. "Categorical Stigma and Firm Disengagement: Nuclear Power Generation in the United States, 1970–2000," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(3), pages 724-742, June.
    23. Fourcade, Marion & Steiner, Philippe & Streeck, Wolfgang & Woll, Cornelia, 2013. "Moral categories in the financial crisis," MaxPo Discussion Paper Series 13/1, Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo).
    24. Parker, Lee D., 1994. "Professional accounting body ethics: In search of the private interest," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 507-525, August.
    25. Thomas Roulet, 2015. "“What Good is Wall Street?” Institutional Contradiction and the Diffusion of the Stigma over the Finance Industry," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 130(2), pages 389-402, August.
    26. Masoud Shadnam & Thomas B. Lawrence, 2011. "Understanding widespread misconduct in organizations: An institutional theory of moral collapse," Post-Print hal-00813317, HAL.
    27. Goodstein, Jerry D. & Wicks, Andrew C., 2007. "Corporate and Stakeholder Responsibility: Making Business Ethics A Two-Way Conversation," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(3), pages 375-398, July.
    28. Nielsen, Richard P., 2000. "The Politics of Long-Term Corruption Reform: A Combined Social Movement and Action-Learning Approach," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 305-317, January.
    29. Scott Sonenshein, 2009. "Emergence of Ethical Issues During Strategic Change Implementation," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(1), pages 223-239, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:165:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s10551-018-4089-6. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.