Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Positively Deviant: Identity Work Through Certification

280 views

Published on

These slides accompanied a talk I gave at the 2017 Global B Corp Academic Community Roundtable on October 4, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. The research underlying the talk is accepted for publication in the Journal of Business Venturing.

Published in: Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Positively Deviant: Identity Work Through Certification

  1. 1. The WellWiki Project Joel Gehman Assistant Professor Strategic Management & Organization Positively Deviant: Identity Work Through Certification Matthew Grimes, Joel Gehman, Ke Cao B Corp Academic Community Roundtable Rotman School of Management October 4, 2017
  2. 2. Motivation Early research on social entrepreneurship often treated social entrepreneurs as a homogenous group. More recent studies, however, highlight the potential for important identity (Battilana, Dimitriadis, Lee, & Ramarajan, 2017) and contextual differences (Gehman & Grimes, 2016), which might lead to differences in organizational action. We investigate such differences in the context of the B Corp certification by asking: Why and under what conditions do businesses choose to obtain sustainability certification?
  3. 3. Identity differences Societal gender expectations can affect one’s orientation toward pro-social and pro-environmental causes (Dietz et al., 2002; Eagly, 2009; Hyde, 2014; Zelezny et al., 2000). Contemporary values-based differences between genders lead to greater representation of women among social entrepreneurs (Hechavarria et al., 2012); women social entrepreneurs more likely to forego commercial activities to support their growth (Battilana et al., forthcoming).
  4. 4. Contextual differences Social entrepreneurship spans different industrial and regional contexts, which also vary in their support (or lack thereof) for social and environmental values (Dacin et al., 2011; Gehman and Grimes, 2017; Moroz and Hindle, 2012). Such differences regarding sustainability values are likely to render the adoption of the B Corp certification as more or less deviant (i.e., non-conforming) relative to a social enterprise’s regional and industrial context.
  5. 5. Core proposition Identity work refers to “people being engaged in forming, repairing, maintaining, strengthening or revising the constructions that are productive of a sense of coherence and distinctiveness” (Sveningsson and Alvesson, 2003, p. 1165). Actors pursue sustainability certifications not as a means for overcoming deficits in legitimacy but rather as a form of identity work that affirms those actors’ values which are perceived as contextually distinctive. We call this positive deviance: “intentional behaviors that significantly depart from the norms of a referent group in honorable ways” (Spreitzer and Sonenshein, 2004: 841).
  6. 6. Hypothesis 1 Hypothesis 1: Woman-owned businesses are more likely to obtain environmental, social, and governance (ESG) certification than non-woman-owned businesses, all else being equal (i.e., “the identity effect”).
  7. 7. Moderating Hypotheses 2-4 Woman-owned businesses are more (less) likely to obtain ESG certification in contexts where: Hypothesis 2, sustainability norms are weaker (stronger); Hypothesis 3, the prevalence of Certified B Corporations is lower (higher); Hypothesis 4, fewer (more) woman-owned businesses operate.
  8. 8. Moderating Hypotheses 2-4 Woman-owned businesses are more (less) likely to obtain ESG certification in contexts where: Hypothesis 2, sustainability norms are weaker (stronger); Hypothesis 3, the prevalence of Certified B Corporations is lower (higher); Hypothesis 4, fewer (more) woman-owned businesses operate.
  9. 9. Moderating Hypotheses 2-4 Woman-owned businesses are more (less) likely to obtain ESG certification in contexts where: Hypothesis 2, sustainability norms are weaker (stronger); Hypothesis 3, the prevalence of Certified B Corporations is lower (higher); Hypothesis 4, fewer (more) woman-owned businesses operate.
  10. 10. Data and method
  11. 11. Key variables DV: Certified B Corporation = 1 if the business became certified following assessment H1: Woman Owned = 1 if the business reported being “woman-owned” on the BIA H2: Weak Sustainability Norms = mean number of ESG concerns for public companies in a given context H3: B Corp Mimesis = count of Certified B Corps in a given context H4: Prevalence of Woman-Owned Businesses = count of woman-owned businesses in a given context
  12. 12. A note about “context” CASE B Lab data are de-identified, but inspired by Porac et al’s (1995) Scottish knitwear study, we coded each business into 5 regions and 18 industry groups, resulting in 90 possible region-industry dyads Following Gehman & Grimes (2016), for H2 we collected data from MSCI ESG STATS, providing sustainability norms for each region-industry For H3, we tabulate the number of Certified B Corps for each dyad using the CASE B Lab data For H4, we collected data from the U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners
  13. 13. Control variables Revenue (log) = self reported annual revenue Employees = self reported number of employees Seeking funding = 1 if seeking outside financing Benefit corporation = 1 if incorporated as a benefit corporation or benefit LLC Survey completion = averages 98%, range 70-100 Public companies = count of publicly-traded companies in a given context Region dummies Industry dummies
  14. 14. Model estimation Our sample includes 1,251 U.S. businesses “at risk” for becoming Certified B Corps, but only businesses scoring ≥80 points on the BIA are eligible to become certified. Accordingly, we model this choice using Heckman’s (1979) two-stage procedure using Stata’s Heckprobit command • In Stage 1, a probit regression predicts the likelihood that a business will qualify for certification (≥80 points on the BIA) • In Stage 2, we model the likelihood a business will become certified, conditional on qualifying to do so
  15. 15. Results: Heckprobit DV: B Corp Certification H1: Woman-Owned Business (Identity Effect) ✔ H2: Woman-Owned Business x Weak Sustainability Norms ✔ H3: Woman-Owned Business x Low Mimetic Pressure ✔ H4: Woman-Owned Business x Low Prevalence of Woman Owned Businesses ✔
  16. 16. H2: Identity Effect x Weak Sustainability Norms
  17. 17. H3: Identity Effect x Low Mimetic Pressure
  18. 18. H4: Identity Effect x Few WO Businesses
  19. 19. Contribution 1 How Women “Jumpstart” the Field of Social Entrepreneurship
  20. 20. Contribution 2 The Importance of Contextual Distinctiveness and Organizational Standards for Understanding Owners’ Identity Work
  21. 21. Contribution 3 Extending Scholarly Understanding of Early-Stage Certification Adoption
  22. 22. Acknowledgements This work was supported in part by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; Office of the Vice President of Research at the University of Alberta; Canadian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility; Alberta School of Business; and University of Alberta Killam Research Fund.
  23. 23. Extras
  24. 24. 3 robustness checks 1. Instead of Heckman models, we simply dropped 232 observations which scored <80 on the BIA and tested probit models. All 4 hypotheses were supported 2. We ”saturated” and “simplified” our Stage 1 selection specification, adding all interaction terms and using only our controls, respectively. All 4 hypotheses were supported in both cases 3. We dropped 415 observations with no reported revenues. These were assumed to be true $0 in the prior analysis; here we assume they are missing. All 4 hypotheses were supported.

×