Journal of Management StudiesCALL FOR PAPERS FOR A SPECIAL ISSUE: MANAGING SOCIAL EVALUATIONS IN A COMPLEX AND EVOLVING WORLD
Submission deadline: 1 April 2023
Marco Clemente (IESEG, France)
Gokhan Ertug (Singapore Management University, Singapore)
Michael Etter (King's College London, UK)
Scott Graffin (University of Georgia, US)
Anastasiya Zavyalova (Rice University, US)
Yuliya Snihur (TBS Education, France)
This special issue will provide a platform for scholars interested in studying social evaluations, a research topic that has grown tremendously in recent years. Such research includes a range of concepts – including status (Podolny, 1993; Ertug and Castellucci, 2013; Graffin et al., 2013), reputation (Rindova and Martins, 2012; Ertug et al., 2016), legitimacy (Patriotta et al., 2011; Suchman, 1995; Bitektine, 2011; Suddaby et al., 2017, Tost, 2011), organizational misconduct (Greve et al., 2010; Palmer, 2012), scandals (Clemente and Gabbioneta, 2017, Piazza and Jourdan, 2018; Clemente et al., 2016;), stigma (Vergne, 2012), celebrity (Rindova et al., 2006; Wade et al., 2006) and infamy (Zavyalova et al. 2017), as well as studies that look at social evaluators, such as news media (Clemente and Gabbioneta, 2017), critics (Kovács et al., 2013), rating agencies (Espeland & Sauder, 2007), and, increasingly, individual evaluators empowered through digital media (Etter et al., 2019).
Although the literature on social evaluations has burgeoned in the last three decades, it stays fragmented (Pollock et al., 2019). Several issues have emerged, including construct proliferation (Bitektine, 2011; Deephouse and Carter, 2005, Devers et al., 2009), an increasing range of theoretical approaches, multilevel perspectives (Bitektine and Haack, 2015), as well as methodological (Snelson, 2016, Roulet et al., 2017; Bitektine et al., 2020) and empirical challenges (Hannigan et al., 2019). It has become clear that different social evaluation constructs overlap with each other and that there are common challenges and opportunities for future work (Pollock et al., 2019).
This special issue is timely, given the increasing complexity and dynamism of the environment where organizations operate. Organizational and strategy research has long studied industries characterized by a high velocity (Eisenhardt, 1989) and hyper-competition (D'Aveni, 2010). So, while such an environment is not new, what used to be an exception has often become the norm. Terms like VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) environment and strategic agility have become common expressions in the business world across industries (Bennett and Lemoine, 2014; Wang et al., 2021). Furthermore, the digitalization of information, rise of social media, and stakeholder pressure on companies to address grand challenges (e.g., climate change, economic and social inequality) have made managing social expectations increasingly difficult and important for both established firms and new ventures. Such a context raises many questions for social evaluation research, especially about the fragility and stability of social evaluations and what organizations can do to influence or respond to social expectations.
We envision a special issue to help unify social evaluation scholars by providing a platform to discuss common challenges and explore cross-fertilization of theories and methodologies. We are particularly interested in investigating questions that are related to managing social evaluations in an increasingly complex and evolving environment within and across levels (e.g., Bitektine and Haack, 2015; Ravasi et al., 2018). In this way, we aim to appeal to a wide audience of social evaluation scholars and also engage with the challenges of today's world. While the research area on social evaluations has grown steadily in the last few years, there remain limitations in the literature and a significant set of open questions, which keeps getting replenished by the contemporary relevance of this topic (i.e., the need for us to understand, theorize about, and explain what is happening in our world today).
One of the shortcomings of the literature on social evaluations is that scholars often focus on different constructs within their own streams of work, which remain distinct and separate from each other. This masks the fact that some of the challenges in the literature are common to multiple sub-streams of research within social evaluations, including a shortage of multilevel views, outdated methodologies for assessing social evaluations, and an underemphasis on the evolving nature of social evaluations in the era of digital media. Indeed, in recent years, firms have been increasingly held accountable for not only their financial performance but also their ESG performance. Thus, in addition to the increasing pace of information disclosure, the metrics by which firms and executives are being evaluated are also evolving. Relatedly, new ventures can now access much larger audiences of social evaluators through digital media, creating opportunities for the rapid spread of new ideas and business models (Seidel et al., 2020), but also risking overly optimistic expectations and evaluations for such newly minted celebrities. Having a debate that can bring about the cross-fertilization of ideas across different constructs will be helpful to researchers in the area and enhance the practical relevance of the insights that come from such research.
We invite both theoretical and empirical contributions to this SI. Following is a non-exhaustive list of potential question areas. We are interested in addressing these questions both for established firms and new ventures.
Common challenges in social evaluations research:
Managing social evaluations in a complex and evolving world:
SUBMISSION PROCESS AND DEADLINES
SPECIAL ISSUE SUBMISSION EVENTS
In the interest of maximizing submission quality, the guest editors of this Special Issue will hold a workshop in early 2023. The workshop will involve the guest editors hosting roundtable sessions in an interactive format. Workshop participation does not guarantee acceptance of a paper in the Special Issue, nor is it required to participate in this workshop for a paper to be considered for publication. Details about the workshop will be announced at a later date.
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