Workshop Series: Nelson Phillips
In this paper we consider the case of a highly legitimate social enterprise - Keystone Development Trust - that developed a program of support for migrant workers, a highly stigmatized group within Keystone's local community. This activity led Keystone to become stigmatized through its association with the migrants: a process we refer to as stigma contagion. As a result, the management at Keystone faced a crisis of organizational legitimacy externally and a crisis of identity internally. We examine Keystone's responses to managing this challenge and identify the discrete forms of legitimacy work and identity work that it performed to manage the complex crisis associated with stigma contagion. Interestingly, we find that not only can the effects of the stigma be managed, but it can also have positive effects for organizations that may lead some organizations to seek out collaboration with stigmatized groups due to the benefits that result from some types of stigma contagion.
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Nelson Phillips is Professor of Strategy and Organizational Behaviour at Imperial College London. His research interests include various aspects of organization theory, technology strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship, often studied from an institutional theory perspective. He also has an interest in discourse analysis and related textual research methods. He has published numerous academic articles and book chapters including articles in the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Management Science, Sloan Management Review, Organization Science, Journal of Management Studies, Strategic Organization, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, and the Academy of Management Annals. He has also published three books: Discourse Analysis with Cynthia Hardy published in 2002, Power and Organizations with Stewart Clegg and David Courpasson published in 2006, and Technology and Organization with Graham Sewell and Dorothy Griffiths published in 2010. He is currently co-editing a new Handbook of Innovation Management with David Gann and Mark Dodgson, an RSO volume entitled Religion and Organization with Paul Tracey and Michael Lounsbury, and is writing a book on research methods provisionally titled Linguistic Methods in Management Research. He is also Co-Editor (with Chris Quinn-Trank) of the Journal of Management Inquiry.
Prof Phillips' Areas of Research Interest:
- Institutional theory
- Knowledge management
- Entrepreneurship & family business
- Technology strategy
- Qualitative research method (e.g., organizational discourse analysis)