Shame On You! Unpacking the Individual and Organizational Implications of Engaging with a Stigmatized Organization
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Management Studies, 2021. 10.1111/joms.12743
How and when does engagement with a stigmatized organization lead to the transfer of its stigma to organizations and individuals associating with it? To answer this question, we conduct an inductive study of the process of stigma transfer and the conditions determining social actors’ susceptibility to such courtesy stigma. We build our process model using interview and archival data on two art exhibitions engaging with Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) Norway. Our study identifies purposeful shaming as a key element in the stigma transfer process, and shows that shaming attempts take on different forms at the individual and organizational levels. We also illustrate that contestation of shaming attempts through impression management tactics is conditional upon the status of the stigma ‘target’. This provides novel insights into when and how status moderates the stigma transfer process.