Online Program
Session Type: Paper Session
Program Session: 2166 | Submission: 20017 | Sponsor(s): (OMT)
Scheduled: Tuesday, Aug 13 2019 3:00PM - 4:30PM at Boston Hynes Convention Center in 309
Field Formation and Identity Construction
Field Formation and Identity Construction

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Chair: Asma Zafar, Brock U.
OMT: We Are All Made of Glitter: Emotional Contagion, Empathy, and Legitimacy’s Double-Edged Sword
Author: Andreea Gorbatai, U. of California, Berkeley
Author: Cyrus Dioun, U. of Colorado, Denver
Legitimacy is critical to the formation and expansion of nascent fields because it lends credibility and recognizability to once overlooked actors and practices, drawing resources and organizations to the field. At the same time, legitimacy can be a double-edged sword precisely because it facilitates field growth, attracting actors with discrepant practices and creating pressures for differentiation that may lead to factionalization and undermine the coherence of the field’s collective identity. In this paper, we investigate how organizations can mitigate the downside of legitimation by eliciting emotions that align increasingly heterogeneous actors and commit them to an inclusive collective identity. We leverage fieldwork and computational text analysis to examine the relationship between legitimation, collective identity coherence, and emotions in the context of the Makers, a nascent field of do-it-yourself hobbyists and technology hackers. We find that legitimation was associated with increased field heterogeneity but that leading organizations in the Maker field aligned actors from different backgrounds by sponsoring collective events that aroused emotional contagion and empathy among actors. These emotions reconciled tensions among increasingly diverse actors and served to maintain the coherence of the Maker collective identity by aligning the stories that were told about the field. We conclude by discussing how theories of emotion can contribute to research on cultural entrepreneurship, optimal distinctiveness, field-configuring events, and social movements and markets.
Paper is No Longer Available Online: Please contact the author(s).
OMT: The Evolutionary Story of Labels in a New Market Space: Through the Lens of Crowds
Author: Sorah Seong, U. of Washington
Prior research focuses on how categories form to define a new market. The present study directs attention at how, before the category formation, a shared sense of comparability emerges in the absence of central coordinating forces that can drive the market conversation in a certain way (cf., social movement theory). From the crowd’s uncoordinated and massively distributed production and consumption of new labels, how do social codes emerge and get elaborated? Why are some labels more likely than others to be noticed (i.e., variation) and remembered (i.e., selective retention) to be used as part of firms’ organizational discourse (i.e., organizational retention)? Using over 33.9 million social media posts relating to the Internet of Things (IoT) between July 2009 and March 2017 and real-time identity accounts of 1,767 IoT-related ventures since their founding, the study finds that shifts in the distribution of labels, some of which prevail and get recorded into collective memory, are driven by the ways in which different labels co-evolve in the context of one another and the communicators who repeat them. Furthermore, empirical analyses find that the crowd’s semantic evolution is completed when the coded labels are propagated across new ventures’ identity statements, thereby giving categorical structure to the otherwise catastrophic label-verse.
Paper is No Longer Available Online: Please contact the author(s).
OMT: Collective Identity Formation in a New Technical Field: The Case of Grid Computing
Author: Zack Kertcher, -
Author: Taylor Clancy Spears, U. of Edinburgh business school
Author: Erica Coslor, U. of Melbourne
How can diverse organizational participants in emerging fields coalesce around a collective identity when they are embedded in different cultures, traditions, and institutional logics? Specifically, what factors can enhance the emergence of a collective identity within a nascent field and what issues can cause such an identity to break down? This paper examines these questions using the case of Grid computing, a field that developed the technological precursor of today’s disruptive Cloud Computing technology. Drawing on field work conducted at the Open Grid Forum – a major voluntary standards institution within the Grid field – as well as interviews, historical documents, and participation indicators, this paper suggests that fields composed of organizations that hold widely different perspectives use a form of flexible standards development that we call ‘dance patterns’ to coordinate the construction of a pluralistic collective identity. Moreover, this paper show this pluralistic identity can fragment in response to pressures originating from competing fields.
Paper is No Longer Available Online: Please contact the author(s).
OMT: When the Time Never Comes: Temporality and Legitimacy in a Nascent Field
Author: Heli Tuulia Nissilä, Aalto U. School of Business
Author: Nina Granqvist, Aalto U.
Author: Mari Holopainen, Aalto U., Department of Industrial Engineering and Management
Author: Risto Rajala, Aalto U.
Perceptions of temporality have a significant impact on the legitimacy of a nascent field. Expectations play a particular role in legitimation in such contexts, and research identifies other types of temporal perceptions and dynamics that relate to change and the persistence of institutions. However, a coherent understanding of how temporality and legitimacy are intertwined in the development of nascent fields is still lacking. Drawing on a grounded study of the emergence of a solar energy field in a northern country where legitimation has been particularly challenging, we develop a framework for sustained temporal illegitimacy in nascent fields. We find that legitimation in temporal terms is apparent in their momentum, and that illegitimacy is produced by two types of asynchronicity that reduce momentum – asynchronicity in the perceived rhythm of local field development as reflected against the rhythm of an acute global challenge, and asynchronicity in the timing of engagement among participating communities. These two types produce a lack of concerted action and stalling momentum. We discuss the implications of our findings for studies on temporality and institutions in the legitimation of nascent fields, as well as for related research on expectations and hypes related to the emergence of a new field.
Paper is No Longer Available Online: Please contact the author(s).
KEY TO SYMBOLS Teaching-oriented Teaching-oriented   Practice-oriented Practice-oriented   International-oriented International-oriented   Theme-oriented Theme-oriented   Research-oriented Research-oriented   Teaching-oriented Diversity-oriented
Selected as a Best Paper Selected as a Best Paper