Published in: Journal of Business Venturing, 33: 179-206.
Cited as: Conger, M., McMullen, J. S., Jr. Bergman, B. J., & York, J. G. 2018. Category membership, identity control, and the reevaluation of prosocial opportunities. Journal of Business Venturing, 33: 179-206.
We extend current knowledge on prosocial organizing by explaining how membership in organizational categories lead entrepreneurs to reevaluate their firms’ activities and opportunities. Through a qualitative study of 46 firms that pursued B Corp certification, we developed an identity control model of prosocial opportunity. Our findings suggest that joining a prosocial category catalyzes identity-driven reflexivity, which can alter the firm’s engagement in prosocial activity. This identity-driven process occurs in tandem with evaluations of opportunity viability and attractiveness, the potential for intra-organizational conflict, and the relative power and position that category legitimacy affords the firm. Our findings contribute to literature streams on prosocial organizing, identity, and categories.
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