Has Organizational Stigma Research Become Strictly PG?

dark-secrets-1077691-mWhen out to dinner with one’s mother-in-law, it’s common knowledge that there are simply topics that should not be breached. But has this fear of impropriety seeped into academic research on Organizational stigma as well? Bryant Ashley Hudson and Gerardo A. Okhuysen discuss this idea and it’s possible consequences in their paper, “Taboo Topics: Structural Barriers to the Study of Organizational Stigma” from the Journal of Management Inquiry.

In this article we make two arguments. The first is that there is greatJMI_72ppiRGB_powerpoint scholarly value in examining topics that management researchers may find distasteful or undesirable; topics that involve organizational stigma. Organizational stigma involves the discrediting of organizational participants, organizational activities, and organizations themselves (Sutton &Callahan, 1987). And the study of organizational stigma often involves the examination of distasteful—and occasionally objectionable, despicable, and disgusting—activities, work, and organizations. We argue that in spite of its potentially repellent nature, organizational stigma is worth discussing as it exposes areas of social life that remain otherwise hidden. However, the nature of stigmatized topics also makes them taboo, and our experience as researchers suggests that our field erects structural barriers that discourage their examination. Our second argument, then, is that these taboos and structural barriers that inhibit the study of these topics are detrimental to knowledge creation and accumulation and deserve to be breached.
This entry was posted in Institutional Theory, Media, Organizational Research, Organizational Studies, Peer Review, Publishing, Research and Publishing, Scholarship and tagged , , , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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