MARJO SILTAOJA (U. of Jyväskylä)
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What counts in moral markets:
Categorical salience and moral evaluation in German carsharing markets

There is a growing interest in the expansion of moral markets. Literature on the topic has shown that because of corporate entry to these markets, the radical pro-environmental and pro-social values are often diluted. However, the literature has paid scant attention into how adherence to these values is evaluated and how this evaluation changes over time. We argue that the change affects the salience of SMOs and corporations in the moral market categories. Our longitudinal study examines the emergence and growth of German carsharing market from 1988 to 2016. We show how the evaluation of category morality evolves from the identity of the producers to the way services are produced and finally to the impact of the services. Our findings indicate that the SMOs easily lose control of the meanings of their category upon corporate entry, but this is not necessarily detrimental for their success. We discover that, over time, category participants´ access to focal resources becomes tightly coupled with the measurable impact they claim to address. Thus, our study goes beyond the simplified perceptions of SMO initiated categories becoming co-opted and shows how SMOs can maintain their focal role.

Marjo Siltaoja (U. of Jyväskylä, Finland)

Marjo Siltaoja (PhD, University of Jyväskylä, Finland) is a senior researcher of corporate environmental management at the Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics (JSBE) and a docent of responsible business at the University of Tampere. Her research focuses on corporate responsibility and contested organizational fields and practices. She is specifically interested in moral struggles that relate to the adoption and legitimation of new organizational practices. Her current work focuses on stigma removal and (de)legitimation processes of new organizational categories, organizational struggles over unethical business practices as well as corporate responsibility and business & society relations. Her work has appeared in Business & Society, Journal of Business Ethics, Organization, Organization Studies, Organization Theory, and other outlets.

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