Article

The Organizational Construction of Authenticity: An Examination of Contemporary Food and Dining in the U.S

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Abstract

This chapter attempts to strengthen theoretical connections between interpretive cultural studies of authenticity and organizational studies. Adopting an unstructured qualitative approach, we use the domain of contemporary food and dining to develop a conceptual framework for assessing authenticity. We start by recognizing the two very different classical symbolic interpretations of authenticity: (1) type authenticity, where the question involves whether an entity is true to its associated type (or category or genre); and (2) moral authenticity, where the issue concerns whether the decisions behind the enactment and operation of an entity reflect sincere choices (i.e., choices true to one's self) rather than socially scripted responses. We next suggest that, in response to social change, these two interpretations have each spawned a unique but related different meaning of authenticity. From type authenticity came what we call craft authenticity, which involves whether something is made using the appropriate techniques and ingredients. Idiosyncratic authenticity emerged out of moral authenticity; here the question is whether there is a commonly recognized (usually historical) quirkiness to the product or place. Our analysis then proceeds to develop a general conjecture, namely, that communication and impact of authenticity comes through most forcefully when it is constructed organizationally—tightly and visibly integrated into the structure of an organization. Depending on which of the four meanings of authenticity is operative, the details of the most compelling organizational construction will vary.

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... 89-90). Authenticity can thereby enable understanding of craft as a political orientation and a moral stance (Carroll & Wheaton, 2009;Grayson & Martinec, 2004;Sennett, 2008). ...
... In addition to aesthetic and emotional attachments, relationships between crafted things and people have an ethical, moral dimension. For example, Carroll and Wheaton's (2009) study of craft practices in restaurants shows that when food is prepared in restaurants in accordance with growing seasons or based on organic sourcing practices, judgements of authenticity focus on ethical values regarding how dishes are made. Such moral authenticity occurs when consumers' attribution of authenticity points to ethical values embedded in products. ...
... To summarize then, craft responds to the desire for authenticity through retrospective symbolic and discursive construction. Yet what is considered authentic changes over time, as particular interpretations become prevalent (Carroll & Wheaton 2009;Kovács et al., 2014). Previous research frames consumer authenticity as an interpretative code (similar to a cognitive schema), which offers an alternative to the traditional rational choice model (Lehman, Kovács, & Carroll, 2014, p. 4). ...
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This paper contributes to debates about craft authenticity by turning attention to the craft imaginary. We suggest that the significance of craft stems from its role in constructing an alternative social imaginary that challenges dominant, modernist imaginaries of industrial production and consumption. Our focus is on the role of imaginaries in determining how societies, communities, organizations and individuals embody temporal relations to the past that extend into the present and future. We show how the craft imaginary comprises histories, traditions, places and bodies and use this to develop a distinction between the imaginary of craft-in-the-past and future-oriented craft imaginaries. Through this, we seek to highlight the organizational possibilities of craft as a source of innovation, inclusivity and disruption.
... The first major socially constructed meaning is called type authenticity by Carroll and Wheaton (2009); it signifies that an entity clearly fits some classification to which it has been assigned or which someone has claimed for it (Baugh, 1988). For example, when people agree that a restaurant is authentic Hmong, this meaning is being invoked. ...
... The second common meaning of socially constructed authenticity is called moral authenticity by Carroll and Wheaton (2009); it derives from existential philosophy and conveys moral meaning about the values and choices embedded in an entity. A person, for instance, is said to be authentic if he/she is sincere, assumes responsibility for his/her actions and makes explicit values-based choices concerning those actions and appearances rather than accepting pre-programmed or socially imposed values and actions. ...
... Because many of the domains studied-like art and fine dining-are populated disproportionately by affluent educated individuals, it is tempting to think that these groups retain the strongest interests in authenticity. However, as Carroll and Wheaton (2009) note, these groups may not be the primary proponents in domains like hip-hop music, guns, and swords where authenticity also matters to many. Instead, they conjectured that, "in contemporary mass society, numerous domains exhibit an interest in authenticity that remains confined primarily to persons with an attachment to the domain" (Carroll and Wheaton, 2009: 259; see also Luoma-aho et al., 2019). ...
Article
Research shows that perceived authenticity conveys value in many disparate domains. The analytical attention of this research focuses on producers of products and services, identifying which actions and structures the typical individual associates with authenticity. Far less is known about how individuals and audiences differ in their interest, receptiveness and response to potentially authentic entities and services. Even less is known about how regulators, certifiers, critics and other third parties play a role in the social construction of authenticity. Yet the perception and valuation of a product or service as authentic rests largely with heterogeneous audiences and interpretive third parties. Accordingly, in this chapter, we review and develop theory and empirical research about how targeted entities (producers, persons, products, services), audiences and third parties combine to produce authenticity. For targets, we examine the range of actions and structures of various entities that have been empirically associated with authenticity. For audiences, we explore variations in interests in authenticity based on domain engagement, cosmopolitanism, and cross-cultural differences. For third parties, we consider the roles of other audience members, certifiers and regulators. Finally, we conceptualize a co-evolutionary process whereby targets, audiences and third parties combine to generate social pockets where authenticity is recognized and highly valued.
... Understanding what influences people's perceptions of authenticity and perceived quality is crucial because these aspects drive consumption decisions in a wide range of domains (e.g. Beverland, 2005;Carroll and Wheaton, 2009;Frake, 2016;Wang, 1999) and contribute to the eventual success and survival of organizations (Kovács et al., 2014). ...
... The audience-based view of organizations and organizational authenticity as a socially constructed concept In many fields, organizations strive to be perceived as "authentic." Organizations benefit from being perceived as authentic because consumers value authenticity when they make purchasing decisions in domains including art (Fine, 2004;Kovács, 2019), music (Grazian, 2003;Peterson, 2005), wine (Beverland, 2005), beer (Frake, 2016), food and restaurants (Carroll and Wheaton, 2009;Kovács et al., 2014), stadiums (Hahl, 2016), cars (Leigh et al., 2006), tourist attractions (Grayson and Martinec, 2004;Wang, 1999) or Christmas fairs (Castéran and Roederer, 2013) and they are willing to pay higher prices for products of organizations that they deem authentic (O'Connor et al., 2017). Developing an authentic identity is also crucial for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs (Alhouti et al., 2016). ...
... We believe that this is especially the case for judgments about organizational authenticity. While the exact meaning of authenticity is contended (Kovács, 2019;Lehman et al., 2019), most scholars agree that authenticity is socially constructed (Carroll and Wheaton, 2009;Kovács et al., 2014;Peterson, 2005;Trilling, 1972). That is, authenticity is in the eye of the beholder and the norms regulating what is deemed authentic are typically an outcome of social processes, 1 thus the evaluation of authenticity becomes a social evaluation (Lamont, 2012;Zuckerman, 2012). ...
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Research shows that people systematically prefer “authentic” organizations above organizations that are not deemed authentic. Yet, people who desire authenticity may also be unable to detect what is authentic. We propose that endorsement by audiences that match the organization’s identity may provide a useful cue for authenticity. Using an experimental approach, we test for audience effects in the context of online reviews about a restaurant’s authenticity and find that reviewers whose ethnic identity match the restaurant’s cuisine are more influential on third-party perceptions of authenticity and subsequent liking of the restaurant. These experiments demonstrate that the effect works through a stereotype-based inferred expertise mechanism, but do not provide support to the “mere presence” and “ingroup-homophily” mechanisms. We discuss the scope conditions of our theory and explore how our general theory of audience-organization identity match applies to organizations besides restaurants, to audience characteristic besides ethnicity, and to organizational characteristics beside authenticity.
... 2 As this description suggests, we are primarily interested in authenticity as an indicator of a market offering's underlying (but difficult to observe) quality (c.f., Frake, 2016). However, we note that prior work also observes that people attend to authenticity for other reasons, including as a reaction against mass production, as a means of self-expression or status signaling, and as something that is inherently valuable in a market offering (Carroll and Wheaton, 2009). ...
... Most scholars see authenticity as centering on sincerity-whether a producer is what it claims to be (Trilling, 2009). Organizational theorists have concentrated on type (or genre) authenticity, which concerns whether and how producers signal sincerity with respect to market categories (Peterson, 1997;Carroll and Wheaton, 2009;Hahl, 2016). Views of authenticity within this literature emphasize its socially constructed nature. ...
... Particularly in domains like science and technology, producers who copy what others have done are seen negatively. Instead, authenticity requires simultaneously conforming to category norms (i.e., type or genre authenticity) and doing something novel, the latter of which Carroll and Wheaton (2009) label idiosyncratic authenticity. Thus, Peterson suggests that market offerings appear most authentic when they signal a balance between genre/type authenticity on the one hand and idiosyncratic authenticity on the other. ...
Article
Research on categories and markets suggests that audiences rely on categorical distinctions to make sense of market offerings. Market offerings that deviate from category norms risk devaluation. Although literature in this area has led to valuable insights, scholars have begun to question whether there has been an overemphasis on conformity, leaving existing theories ill-equipped to account for innovation. Within this context, we argue that research on authenticity in cultural sociology offers a useful platform for theorizing. We draw on the work of Peterson (1997), who underscores the importance of signals in evaluation. Objective features of market offerings (e.g., quality) matter, but particularly for innovations, these features are not readily visible. Because authentic producers are typically thought to be more committed, capable, and intrinsically motivated, when visibility of such objective features is lacking, authenticity may serve as an alternative indicator of value. Appearing authentic requires signaling believability with respect to category norms, while also being distinctive. Using data on 684 firms from five high technology sectors, we explore the relationship between authenticity and investor perceptions of value. Focusing on three different proxies for signals of authenticity—networks, governance, and narratives—we find a curvilinear association between conformity/distinctiveness and Tobin's q. Consistent with our view of authenticity as a signal, we also find that this relationship flattens as firms gain better track records and face stiffer competition.
... Other studies that embrace the consumer-oriented approach to inform authenticity assessments (irrespective of restaurant ethnic background) have been conducted by organisational management scholars (i.e. Carroll and Wheaton, 2009;Kovács et al., 2014;Kovács, 2019;Lehman et al., 2019;O'Connor et al., 2017). Notably, Kovács (2019) uses the term "lay associations to authenticity" (p. ...
... 32) to describe meanings and words considered authentic by laypeoplethe consumers. In this sense, the consumer-oriented approach remains closer to the raw datathe literal interpretations of text and language to articulate the idea of authenticity from the consumer viewpoint (Carroll and Wheaton, 2009;Kovács et al., 2014). Following this approach, an entity is considered as authentic not only based on the extent to which it conforms or connects to a cultural trait but also the degree to which the entity reflects its inherent qualities (Kovács, 2019;Lehman et al., 2019). ...
... There are two notable conceptualisations that adopt a consumeroriented approach to authenticity. Specifically, Carroll and Wheaton (2009) propose a conceptual framework that incorporates the organisational construction in shaping consumers' perceived authenticity, drawing inferences from food and restaurant contexts. Four meanings of authenticity were put forward including type, craft, moral, and idiosyncratic authenticity. ...
Article
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Investigations into the multi-dimensionality of authenticity as expressed in restaurant contexts have been scarce. This study attempts to fill this gap by examining how consumers perceive authenticity in restaurant experiences by analysing their authenticity judgements from online reviews. An interpretive methodology, specifically quota sampling, is used to select authenticity judgements from online reviews, and thematic analysis is performed to map authenticity cues shaping such judgements. Findings demonstrate that consumers evaluate the authenticity of the observed entity based on various cues reflected through the entity itself, or through the consumers themselves and how they see their selves through the entity. The study subsequently provides a demonstration of con-sumers' authenticity judgements, and provides implications for theory and practice. Findings suggest the very same entity can be evaluated with respect to more than one dimension of authenticity, thus calling for rigorous understanding of offerings among restaurateurs to project appropriate authenticity cues that appeal to consumers .
... Although the existing literature on authenticity in general has proposed many different conceptualisations of the term, there appears to be a striking degree of convergence across them when examined as a whole (Belhassen & Caton, 2006;Newman & Smith, 2016). This paper discusses two streams of conceptualisations that target the contributing role of the producer (i.e. the service provider or the restaurant in the current paper) in co-constructing product authenticity, including Carroll and Wheaton's (2009) and Newman and Smith's (2016) conceptualisations. These frameworks have proved useful in examining authenticity in dining experiences. ...
... Grayson and Martinec (2004) focus specifically on authenticity of the object through the discourse of iconic and indexical authenticity. While Carroll and Wheaton's (2009) and Newman and Smith's (2016) typologies encompass more than two types of authenticity meanings, they fail to determine the type of entities possessing such meanings. Whereas such conceptualisations are indeed applicable to the examination of authenticity in dining experiences, the understanding of authenticity in this context often requires the comprehension of both authenticity meaning and the entity where the meaning inheres within. ...
... objective versus historical authenticity; constructive versus categorical authenticity; authenticity of the producer versus values authenticity; values authenticity versus authenticity of the self; values authenticity versus existential authenticity). Carroll and Wheaton's (2009) conceptualisation (i.e. type, craft, moral and idiosyncratic), however, was not utilised in this classification because the convergence of these dimensions and the others has not yet been established. ...
Article
Full-text available
The quest for authenticity in dining experiences has become increasingly important. This paper explores authenticity dimensions that are of value to customers in dining experiences, and by that gains a multi-dimensional understanding of authenticity in this context. Following an integrated learning approach using text mining and classification techniques, this paper explores and confirms different dimensions of authenticity by identifying and classifying authenticity judgements in online restaurant reviews. The results suggest that authenticity is a multi-dimensional concept encompassing Authenticity of the Other, Authenticity of the Producer, and Authenticity of the Self as first-level dimensions. Additionally, besides historical and categorical authenticity which have been previously explored in the literature, a new type of authenticity - Deviated Authenticity - emerged as a second-level dimension falling under Authenticity of the Other. This paper enhances existing conceptualisations of authenticity and establishes avenues for exploring the multi-dimensionality of other consumer research concepts using user-generated content.
... Various attempts have been made to explain why certain connections cause firms' product offerings to be seen as authentic (for a review, see Wheaton 2009, Lehman, O'Connor, Kovács, andNewman 2019). This work underscores the notion that organizations can benefit from explicit actions to increase the perception that their products are authentic (Carroll and Wheaton 2009, Demetry 2019, Hahl 2016, cf., Kovács et al. 2017. For example, research in this area has consistently shown that when a product (or its producer) is deemed authentic, they are in higher demand and receive higher social valuations (Beverland and Farrelly 2010, Frake 2016, Kovács et al. 2013. ...
... In line with an 'Authenticity as Connection' perspective, a product is deemed authentic "to the extent that it is connected to a person, place, or time as claimed" (Lehman et al. 2019: 16). For example, a product can forge a connection with a particular geographic region or location (Schifeling and Demetry 2021), a famous or iconic individual (Newman, Diesendruck, and Bloom 2011), a unique story (Hatch and Schultz 2017), or even a famous object or monument associated with a person, place, or time (Hahl 2016;Carroll and Wheaton 2009;Kovács and Horwitz 2020). However, each of these connections also carry their own potential constraints if the product becomes too tethered to a specific place. ...
... In particular, our findings speak to work on product evaluations where product and audience appeal is tied to perceptions of authenticity (Kovács et al. 2013, Verhaal et al. 2015) by pointing out that there might be different implications for firms using different types of claims to authenticity. Next, we contribute to the literature on organization and product authenticity (Carroll and Wheaton 2009, Demetry 2019, Lehman et al. 2014, Schifeling and Demetry 2020, Verhaal et al. 2017) by identifying important boundary conditions in how perceived authenticity drives appeal. Indeed, while much of this work has identified credible determinants of authenticity, and how authenticity can shield organizations from consumer ire, this paper speaks to the organizational constraints of these sources of authenticity, and what happens when the cultural connections that underpin these attributions are lost or even difficult for the organization to maintain. ...
Article
We explore the organizational consequences that different authenticity claims carry for products and the firms that produce them. To do so we build on the notion of an authenticity paradox – the idea that seeking to capture demand that is created by perceived authenticity can undermine the very authenticity that generated the demand in the first place. Using an experimental approach, we argue and show that provenance-based claims of authenticity (e.g., location of origin) constrain a firm spaciotemporally, limiting their ability to expand production in ways that might be economically rational, but would undermine this authenticity claim. We further show that such an action is not penalized (or penalized less) when the basis of the claim is not spacio-temporally linked and is instead based on more diffuse associations with an iconic image but is also associated with a place. We show how these types of connections help firms respond to the authenticity paradox by allowing them more freedom to expand production to meet the increased demand without undermining the original claims to authenticity. As a result, this paper’s key contribution lies in moving beyond explaining how perceived authenticity benefits organizations, and instead explores how different claims to authenticity can constrain a firm’s ability to capture the value they have created from authenticity.
... This implies authenticity can also be organisationally constructed to induce perceptions of Authenticity of the Organisation, which is highly applicable for the restaurant context, where the restaurant is considered as the businessthe organisation. This authenticity dimension focuses on the construction of authenticity informed by the qualities and characteristics inherent in the organisation itself that are independent of the customer's subjective opinions and characteristics (Carroll & Wheaton, 2009;Kovács et al., 2014). This viewpoint therefore aligns with the traditional firm-centric view which emphasises the importance perceived through the internal organisation value chains in rendering offerings that exhibit features valued by the customers (Vargo & Lusch, 2004). ...
... Moreso, whether an experience is authentic or not is not only an objective or a socially constructed object-based matter, but also when it renders distinctive features that truly reflect its providerthe restaurant. Carroll and Wheaton (2009) assert that from the consumer viewpoint, authenticity is projected most clearly and saliently from the provider, whose embedded structure and values are attested publicly in a visible and central way. Restaurateurs, therefore, could adopt strategies that emphasise their identities and values most strongly, and one of the most powerful ways is projecting these core components when selling their dining experiences (O'Connor et al., 2017). ...
... This rendering tactic, however, needs to be aligned with the restaurant's public image, thus suggests the bidirectional effect from both elements. On one hand, the provider will be authentic to the extent that it characterises their identity and values (Authenticity of the Organisation), and this also influences consumers' perceptions of authenticity of the experience (Carroll & Wheaton, 2009). On the other hand, the perceived authenticity of the experience can also be stimulated if certain features reflecting the provider's true identity and values are visibly embedded in the experience itself. ...
Article
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In the context of the advent of the experience economy, conceptualisations of authenticity are often both perplexing and uncertain. This paper argues for a nuanced understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of authenticity of restaurant experiences from the production perspective. It does this by proposing a framework to produce authenticity using the interrelationships of three fundamental elements of a restaurant experience, the Consumer, the Provider, and the Experience, and by discussing the consumers' experiential outcomes resulting from such interrelationships. By applying the interrelationships to reconceptualise the existing authenticity approaches in tourism and hospitality contexts, this paper suggests that direct interaction between the provider and the consumer can enhance authenticity of restaurant experiences. As a result, incorporating such direct interaction supports the multi-dimensional approach to authenticity in restaurants. The three outcomes resulting from the interrelationships can further strengthen perceptions of authenticity in restaurant experiences. The paper offers both theoretical and practical insights which advance the production of authenticity in restaurants.
... Although the existing literature on authenticity in general has proposed many different conceptualisations of the term, there appears to be a striking degree of convergence across them when examined as a whole (Belhassen & Caton, 2006;Newman & Smith, 2016). This paper discusses two streams of conceptualisations that target the contributing role of the producer (i.e. the service provider or the restaurant in the current paper) in co-constructing product authenticity, including Carroll and Wheaton's (2009) and Newman and Smith's (2016) conceptualisations. These frameworks have proved useful in examining authenticity in dining experiences. ...
... Grayson and Martinec (2004) focus specifically on authenticity of the object through the discourse of iconic and indexical authenticity. While Carroll and Wheaton's (2009) and Newman and Smith's (2016) typologies encompass more than two types of authenticity meanings, they fail to determine the type of entities possessing such meanings. Whereas such conceptualisations are indeed applicable to the examination of authenticity in dining experiences, the understanding of authenticity in this context often requires the comprehension of both authenticity meaning and the entity where the meaning inheres within. ...
... objective versus historical authenticity; constructive versus categorical authenticity; authenticity of the producer versus values authenticity; values authenticity versus authenticity of the self; values authenticity versus existential authenticity). Carroll and Wheaton's (2009) conceptualisation (i.e. type, craft, moral and idiosyncratic), however, was not utilised in this classification because the convergence of these dimensions and the others has not yet been established. ...
Preprint
The quest for authenticity in dining experiences has become increasingly important. This paper explores authenticity dimensions that are of value to customers in dining experiences, and by that gains a multi-dimensional understanding of authenticity in this context. Following an integrated learning approach using text mining and classification techniques, this paper explores and confirms different dimensions of authenticity by identifying and classifying authenticity judgements in online restaurant reviews. The results suggest that authenticity is a multi-dimensional concept encompassing Authenticity of the Other, Authenticity of the Producer, and Authenticity of the Self as first-level dimensions. Additionally, besides historical and categorical authenticity which have been previously explored in the literature, a new type of authenticity - Deviated Authenticity - emerged as a second-level dimension falling under Authenticity of the Other. This paper enhances existing conceptualisations of authenticity and establishes avenues for exploring the multi-dimensionality of other consumer research concepts using user-generated content.
... This identity is associated with a sense of authenticity and community (Bell et al. 2018), celebrating the imperfections associated with the execution of products by hand (Ullrich 2004). Carroll and Wheaton (2009) propose the term "craft authenticity" to denote whether an object is made using appropriate techniques by a skilled staff. This type of authenticity is inherently relational based on patterns of action embedded in relations between producers (Endrissat et al. 2016). ...
... The use of materiality and natural perception as a "reality check" was correctly identified by the critics of Impressionism as an attempt to redefine the laws of painting and contest the institutional foundations of the salon system. The Impressionists marked a new era not because they ushered in a new structure for the art world (White and White 1965), but because they championed a new theory of value and an artistic identity around "craft authenticity" (Carroll and Wheaton 2009). If their stylistic innovations are of a different nature, the Impressionists shared with artists, such as Leonardo (Isaacson 2017) and Van Eyck (Sgourev 2020) the emphasis on nature and objective reality as a key reference point for contestation of the dominant evaluative regime. ...
Article
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This paper addresses the recognized need for connecting scholarship on materiality and evaluation by conceptualizing how materiality provides grounds for “valuation entrepreneurship.” It extends the scope of materiality scholarship by considering an ignored organizational outcome while offering stronger evidence for the role of supply-side factors in social evaluation. The theoretical model posits that materiality affords opportunities for identity construction and social organization that can lead to the emergence of a new theory of value contesting the evaluative regime. This framework is applied to the reanalysis of a famous case: Impressionism. The analysis shows that new materials and methods of painting served as a “focus” for the social organization of artists with a shared identity of craftsmen. These artists espoused a new theory of value that advocated the “unfinishedness” of artworks and used natural perception as an objective basis for contestation of the “subjective” evaluative regime at the salons. The contestation had political overtones, drawing on cultural resources and scientific tenets to justify the valorization of individuality and decentralization of art appraisal. An endogenous account of culture in action presents materiality as a natural counterpoint to the emphasis on conceptualization.
... Ultimately, credible claims of authenticity resonate when producers can convince consumers that they are who they claim to be, and that their intentions are genuine (Bridson et al., 2017;Carroll and Wheaton, 2009;Dwivedi and McDonald, 2018). ...
... When a firm effectively communicates "localness" to the consumer, it credibly signals brand authenticity through location heritage and pedigree, which can then translate into valuable consumer appeal (Kovacs et al., 2014). Localness is a particularly powerful authenticity claim for firms to make, as it easily and directly contrasts against what is not local and, thus, has no heritage and is not authentic (Baron, 2004;Carroll and Wheaton, 2009;Verhaal et al., 2017). For example, one stream of research suggests that local products and brands can leverage "oppositional identities" to compete against these larger firms who possess powerful economies of scale in production and distribution (McKendrick and Hannan, 2013;Verhaal et al., 2015). ...
Article
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Purpose This paper aims to move beyond previous investigations juxtaposing the performance of global versus domestic brands, where domestic is referred to as “localness” in the literature, conceptualizing and developing two measures of “within-country brand or product localness.” In doing so, it uses objective localness measures, rather than consumer perceptions of brand localness, as have been primarily used previously. Then, by leveraging established theory on brand authenticity and corollary literatures on brand identity and country-of-origin effects, this research develops and empirically tests key hypotheses about how these within-country, more geographically local products or brands (referred to as simply “localness” hereafter, for brevity), influence sales outcomes through increasing perceptions of brand and product authenticity. Design/methodology/approach Two empirical studies using different archival data sets are conducted to test the hypotheses. Study 1 focuses on new product sales from 2002 to 2011 for 31 categories of consumer packaged goods US product launches initiated in 2002–2005, whereas Study 2 investigates online consumer review and retail sales data in the US craft beer industry from 2001 to 2011. Localness is operationalized as two different objective measures: in Study 1, local distribution is measured, and in Study 2, firm headquarters denotes the geographic bounds of localness. These two measures are motivated by prior consumer perceptual studies of Locavores (consumers who strongly prefer local products), which identify that local systems of production and/or distribution are the key signals of localness. Using two measures allows the localness construct to be tested for the potential firm-side boundaries of its scope and provides two empirical measures that future researchers can leverage. Findings Brand (or product) localness gives performance advantages over national brands in the form of increased sales across both studies. The second study, focused on craft beer, dives more deeply into the theoretical mechanism (localness operates through increased perceptions of brand authenticity) and shows that while brand authenticity directly translates into higher sales, as anticipated, localness fully mediates this relationship. When coupled with supporting marketing tactics (high price and/or product variety), the link between localness and brand authenticity grows stronger. Local brands with low prices and/or limited product variety are deemed inauthentic by consumers, so it is important for brand managers to use marketing tactics that reinforce brand authenticity to support localness as a strategy. Research limitations/implications Future research could extend this inquiry in a number of ways. These include combining both empirical measures of localness into a single empirical inquiry, investigating additional product categories and further integrating aspects of strategy such as market positioning and innovation strategy. Newer data could also reveal how these phenomena are continuing to evolve. Practical implications Based on this study, managers can benefit by leveraging localness as a key brand or product attribute to achieve a sales advantage, but they must do so by using marketing tactics consistent with an authentic brand positioning. Efforts to expand a brand’s geographic reach over time should likely be conducted very locally at first, before extending to regional markets and then to a global footprint. It is also posited that retail store managers can benefit from allocating some shelf space to local brand and product offerings. Originality/value This paper conceptualizes and measures localness in new ways compared to the previous literatures. It develops objective measures of within-country localness instead of using consumer perceptions of localness and/or considering domestic brands as being “local” compared to global brands; builds key linkages between concepts of localness, authenticity and sales performance; and uncovers when and how within-country localness is a key brand or product attribute associated with increased sales success.
... Though most management literature has focused on the positive implications of authenticity (e.g., Avolio & Gardner, 2005;Carroll & Wheaton, 2009;Hatch & Schultz, 2017;Massa et al., 2017), cultural sociology has acknowledged that authenticity can also have a dark side (e.g., Hahl et al., 2018). Knowing a horror film is fake can allow people to watch incredibly gruesome acts, whereas, the reality of "snuff" films-which ...
... Both research and popular culture have tended to equate authenticity with perceptions of moral goodness in its connection to what is "genuine" and "true" (Gino, Kouchaki, & Galinsky, 2015;Taylor, 1991), in contrast with calculated economic motives (Carroll & Wheaton, 2009;DeSoucey & Demetry, 2016;Hahl, 2016). Authenticity has also been associated with primarily positive emotional experiences (Grayson & Martinec, 2004;Howard-Grenville, Metzger, & Meyer, 2013;Massa et al., 2017). ...
Article
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Voyeurism violates dominant moral codes in many societies. Yet, for a number of businesses, including erotic webcam, reality television, slum tourism, and mixed martial arts, voyeurism is an important part of value creation. The success of such businesses that violate dominant moral codes raises questions about value creation that existing theory in management cannot adequately answer. To help advance our understanding, we theorize how businesses commercializing voyeurism create value for audiences. Conceptualizing voyeurism as a social practice, we identify two dimensions of voyeurism—authenticity and transgression—that help create value by generating desirable emotional responses that facilitate a distinctive experience for audiences. However, we further argue that these same dimensions can also hinder value creation by generating undesirable emotional responses that may lead audiences to disengage from the practice. Accordingly, we contend that businesses’ ability to deliver value to audiences hinges on effective emotional optimization—efforts to reduce undesirable emotional responses by dampening the authenticity or transgression in the voyeuristic practice, while reinforcing the associated desirable emotional responses. We contribute to the literature by advancing a novel theory of the commercialization of voyeuristic practice. In doing so, we also enrich our understanding of both authenticity and transgression.
... evaluations (Carroll & Wheaton, 2009;O'Connor et al., 2016;Lehman et al., 2019). However, the desirability and positive charge of authenticity inevitably provoke skepticism as to the "real" motivations attached to it. ...
... One can also attribute a more pronounced role to social status in the described process. The position in a status hierarchy moderates choices in the pursuit of authenticity (Carroll & Wheaton, 2009). It is reasonable to expect that escalation for those in the "core" is more likely to be motivated internally, by the pursuit of alignment between beliefs and action, while for those on the "periphery", motivation is more likely to be "extrinsic" in nature, fueled by the desire to win approval by the core. ...
Article
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We develop a process-based framework, articulating the escalation of difference between “private” self and “public” display as an alternative trajectory in the pursuit of authenticity to alignment and compromise. A parsimonious model presents an endogenous dynamic of binary choice that generates momentum toward polarization. The model is illustrated in the context of “black” metal – a branch of heavy metal music that appeared in Norway in the early 1990s, notorious for its involvement in criminal activities. Using fanzine data, we construct a narrative of how a process of escalation led to innovation and transgression through self-selection and exclusion. The analysis addresses two related theoretical problems – what motivates actors to challenge normative scripts and “burn the bridges” to social acceptance, and why such challenges may prove more effective in achieving recognition than compromise. Examples from politics, culture and sports reinforce the importance of these problems.
... The recognition that style is integral to value creation provides business leaders with a much broader cultural repertoire, which they can leverage in developing strategies that differentiate them from competitors. Scholars emphasize the link between commitment to a particular method or style of production and the perception of the authenticity of its products (Beverland, 2005;Carroll & Wheaton, 2009). To the extent that products are perceived as authentic, they will enable a company to outperform competitors whose authenticity claims are viewed as less credible. ...
... The construct of authenticity is well-known and discussed in many disciplines like psychology (Kernis and Goldman, 2006;Newman and Dhar, 2014), philosophy (Taylor, 1991), and sociology (Carroll and Wheaton, 2009), but relatively recently it has become one of the trending topics and key criteria for success in marketing. Pine and Gilmore (2007) go so far as to say that authenticity has overtaken quality as the prevailing purchasing criterion. ...
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In the last decade, especially with the rise of the experience economy, authenticity has sparked both marketing academics' and practitioners' interest. Research efforts have increasingly focused on understanding the nature of authenticity, elucidating its causes, components and consequences, and its role in brand management. Despite the consensus on the importance of authenticity in branding from the perspective of companies, consumers, society and scholars, the literature on this topic is still diverse and fragmented. This paper reviews the authenticity construct in branding literature published in 2010-2020 in academic journals. The purpose of the paper is twofold. It aims to reduce the fragmentation in the field of authenticity in branding by finding gaps in the existing academic literature and uncovering potential directions for future research. Furthermore, based on a review and analysis of studies published in peer-reviewed journals in the last ten years, the aim is to show the development of the area over time and offer a basis for reflection on new conceptual models and frameworks. The paper contributes to the marketing theory by offering a starting platform for new research on authenticity in branding for scholars interested in this particular topic. For practitioners (brand managers), it may serve as an up-to-date information source when looking for theoretically proven evidence for managerial decision making.
... In these examples, place labels have gained a type of narrativized importance over time, and using these labels can have positive effects regardless of the actual material attributes of these products. From this perspective, place-based authenticity is a rhetorical tool used by gatekeepers and their narratives determine what aspects are highlighted (Carroll and Wheaton 2009). These narratives of authenticity are often intelligible for wider audiences as they function as prototypical representations of a category without having to understand the specific qualities of that category (Kovács, Carroll, and Lehman 2013). ...
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The aim of this paper is to investigate to what extent the understanding of market categories changes over time and how this is reflected in the importance of different category signals in periods of category maturation and revival. We test the changing influence of different types of category signals on inclusion rates of surf music compilation albums, which represent the understanding of “surf music” from a market-based perspective. We find that “elaborate” signals to the category label of surf music showed to be important during both the stage of maturity and revival. However, restricted category signals using surf slang actually lost their importance over time. Finally, signaling surf-related locations had no effect in early times, but increased chances of inclusion during a revival. By addressing these changes over time in the importance of category signals, we add to recent studies on mechanisms of categorization during different stages of category development.
... Tuscany conforms to its social category (see Davies, 2001). The region's proper classification, idealised representation (Grazian, 2004) and conventions reflect its "type authenticity" (Carroll & Wheaton, 2009;p.257), defined by audiences of producers and consumers. ...
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Agritourism is emerging as a common solution to sustain agriculture-based communities bereft of economic viability. Drawing from the intersecting literature of product country-of-origin and destination branding, we use a case study to show how agritourism in Messinia, Greece, creates and houses a multitude of meanings suitable for tourism consumption. The study highlights the challenge for the destination to sustainably convey experiential authenticity and interpreting its role in a greater product geography to sustain that capability. The agritourism destination must develop consistency in addressing the multitude of meanings it embeds while simultaneously addressing its stakeholders’ divergent needs.
... At its broadest, 'authenticity' has been subject to two very different symbolic interpretations (Carroll and Wheaton, 2009). Type authenticity, associated with products, tourist experiences and the like, is routinely established via authentication markers -hallmarks, patents, etc.that are widely recognised and largely unambiguous. ...
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The clamour for leaders to be authentic in enacting their roles is now widely heard in both the academic literature and popular media. Yet, the authentic leadership (AL) construct remains deeply problematic and arguably impossible to enact. Using the performance of emotional labour (EL) as a lens to view relational transparency, a core component of AL, our research surfaces the paradoxes inherent in this construct and their implications for practicing leaders. Our data reveal something of the mystery surrounding how practicing leaders are able to feel authentic even as they manage their emotions as a routine tool of accomplishing their leadership role. This apparent disconnect between the experiencing of authenticity and the actions/interactions in which this experience is embedded raises profound questions concerning authenticity as a phenomenon, how it is discursively constructed, its relationship to inauthenticity – especially in the practice of leadership – and even its relevance. Drawing on these concerns, we suggest an agenda for future research in relation to authenticity in leadership and highlight the value of EL as a challenging ‘test context’ for honing our understanding of what ‘authenticity’ might mean.
... Naoi (2004) believes that authenticity is the key factor influencing tourists' overall evaluation of heritage tourism. In many concepts of authenticity, the authenticity experience of tourists belongs to the existing authenticity, that is, the authenticity based on the perception of tourists (Carroll & Wheaton, 2009). In the context of mass tourism, the search for authenticity has become an important theme pursued by modern tourists (Cohen, 1988), As one of the important forms in cultural tourism, tourists in ICH tourism are paying more and more attention to the authenticity of culture (Tiberghien et al., 2017), because only a culture with authenticity can satisfy the spiritual needs of tourists. ...
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Bonds between people and place are an important predictor of a tourist’s environmentally responsible behaviour (ERB). From a holistic perspective, the connection between people and place can be divided into bonds formed before the visit and those formed after the visit. However, insufficient research has been carried out on the bond formed between visitors and destination before the visit. This relationship between before visit and after visit people-place bonds, as well as how this relationship impacts visitor experience and environmentally responsible behaviour brings new understanding to the tourist experience. The origin site of the famous Chinese geographical indication (GI) product, Hangzhou Xihu Longjing Tea, is a place where such a people-place bond is formed before the visit and site involvement. Based on a sample of 371 questionnaires, it is verified that the people-place bond formed before the visit is worthy of attention. As when tourists form a strong connection between people and place through GI products before visiting the destination, they have better experience, stronger attachment to the place, and easier implementation of environmental protection behaviours. It also suggests that managers should make good use of GI resources to promote sustainable tourism and extend the scope of destination management to the stage before tourists visit.
... 8). These authors further note that this finding is consistent with a number of previous territorial branding studies and cite the following: Carroll and Wheaton, 2009;Eades et al., 2017;Eberts, 2014;Flack, 1997;Gatrell et al., 2018;Hede and Watne, 2013;O'Neill et al., 2014;Schnell and Reese, 2003. In addition, Argent (2018 adopted an evolutionary economic geography approach to the study of selected microbreweries in rural Australia. ...
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Guest editorial for the special issue of the Journal of Place Management and Development entitled "From Place to Plate: Gastronomy and Rural Entrepreneurship".
... Ou seja, o artesanal expressa se algo é feito utilizando as técnicas e ingredientes adequados (Carroll & Wheaton, 2009). Neste mesmo sentido, de forma contemporânea, esta dimensão relaciona-se à praticas de produção que são contrárias à produção em massa e utilizam matérias-primas e processos artesanais de fabricação. ...
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O artigo tem o intuito de penetrar no mundo da Autenticidade, que antecede a época de Cicero e, portanto, desenvolver as dimensões críticas de autenticidade de marca baseada nas escalas de Bruhn et al. (2012) e Napoli et al. (2013). Para isso, o Modelo de Churchill (1979) foi utilizado como balizador do método por meio de fases qualitativas e quantitativas e coletas de dados no Brasil e nos Estados Unidos. Como resultado tem-se 9 dimensões formadoras, com características distintas para diferentes categorias de produtos. A autenticidade da marca é um conceito multifacetado em torno das dimensões que a compõem. Na era da experiência em que os consumidores têm muitas escolhas e menos fé nos produtos que consomem, a autenticidade pode existir para suavizar esta falta de verdade nas ofertas. Além disso, os consumidores conhecem seus produtos, mais do que nunca, por meio do fácil acesso a informações de quase tudo o que eles querem. Em tal contexto, como uma marca pode ser verdadeira? A fim de discutir possíveis respostas a esta questão e encontrar uma compreensão mais profunda sobre o mundo da autenticidade, este artigo foi desenvolvido.
... This condition is likely to fuel mobilization of authenticity concerns, wherein actors seek to establish their genuine connections to valued objects (Carroll and Wheaton, 2009;DeSoucey, 2010;Verhaal, Khessina, and Dobrev, 2015;Frake, 2017). DeSoucey's (2010) study of "gastronationalism" found that nations claim to be the true producers of certain foodstuffs (e.g., ...
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Social movements challenge incumbents and drive institutional change by introducing market alternatives—new products and organizational forms that embody an alternative institutional logic. Research has shown that in response to market alternatives, incumbents resist through heterogeneous behaviors: incumbents maintain their commitment to the dominant logic, effectively marginalizing challengers, while also ostensibly endorsing the alternative logic and often successfully coopting challengers. Although incumbents’ strategic responses to pioneering market alternatives are well documented, we do not know how their heterogeneous behaviors affect new waves of challenger mobilization and how these mobilizations may differently address the hazards of cooptation and marginalization. We investigate the rise of the B Corp (Certified B Corporation) movement against the backdrop of both ongoing shareholder supremacy and rising corporate social responsibility (CSR) among incumbent corporations. Our multi-method, multi-stage investigation reveals that heterogeneous incumbent behaviors encourage new waves of challenger mobilization by seeding divergent mobilizing frames. This variety can lead to a paradoxical form of mobilization in which challengers dynamically balance the tension between their movements’ focus on expansion and purity, rather than prioritizing one over the other. The B Corp movement demonstrates how achieving this balance may help challengers avoid cooptation or marginalization, sustain their challenge against incumbents, and achieve more-transformative change. For incumbents, our findings show that both resistance to and the ostensible embrace of alternative logics may stave off immediate challenges but can also invigorate future challenges that pose substantive threats to the dominant logic.
... A second value channel is the "authenticity" of the producer: Some consumers may value that the producer of a handmade product assumes responsibility for the production process; business decisions under machine production do not convey a producer's values but are perceived as marketing strategy (Carroll & Wheaton, 2009;Lehman et al., 2019). I formalise the handmade effect on the consumer side through a fraction C of shoppers being conscious of this handmade effect. ...
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Although online marketplaces for handmade products persist, little theoretical research has been undertaken to explain why firms choose a handmade strategy. In this paper, I develop a model that can explain the persistence through a handmade effect on the consumer side. I show that when consumers are willing to pay a sufficiently high handmade premium, the firm chooses production by hand over superior machine production. When the firm is part of a duopoly, the existence of consumers who care about the conditions under which a product is manufactured can explain the firms’ specialisation and, thus, the observed co-existence of handmade and machine-made products in the economy. Such specialisation is efficient, and can be robust to collusion. The presence of shoppers who are uncertain about the appropriate behaviour may enable the monopolist to use a handmade strategy to signal a social norm of conscious consumption.
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Receiving a Michelin star was once the ultimate culinary reward for the hard work and dedication that chefs have demonstrated in making their restaurants a success. However, for some of them, the stars seem more of a burden than a blessing. In recent years, several chefs have given up their Michelin status, closed the doors on their restaurants, and begun a new professional life away from haute cuisine. Many have opened up about the reasons leading them to neglect Michelin, the most prominent of them being the pressure involved in maintaining the stars, rather than obtaining them. Yet there are less obvious, but not less important, reasons to explain this behavior. In this article, we argue that chefs’ increasing reluctance to Michelin stardom is reflective of the shifts in today’s culinary profession and industry, triggered both by new attitudes in food consumption and media that increasingly influences ideas about what good food should be, mean, and look like. Drawing on the most prominent scholarly literature, writings by food journalists, and analysis of audiovisual materials, we show how the fine-dining industry is redefining itself outside the traditional systems of valuation and judgment.
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Supermarkets suffer significant losses as a consequence of shoplifting. Amongst the existing electronic and manual surveillance measures for retail crime management, the role of employees in preventing or controlling retail crime has not been systematically addressed within the extant literature. This paper contributes to addressing this gap by examining how employers’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) involvement influences employee proclivity towards guardianship behaviour in shoplifting prevention. A phenomenological approach is adopted comprising semi-structured interviews of twenty-nine shop-floor employees of two national supermarket chains within a cosmopolitan city of New Zealand. Findings strongly support the suggestion that employee perceptions of employer internal and external CSR may shape their feelings of organisational attachment, resulting in employee guardianship behaviour that manifests in in-store shoplifting prevention. Further, from a societal perspective, this study suggests that a reduction in retail crime contributes towards positive relationships among key stakeholders such as supermarkets, their employees, and society at large based on the social, environmental, and employee welfare practices of supermarkets.
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In the highly-competitive restaurant environment, restaurateurs continually optimize the quality of their offer so that customers leave the restaurant with the intention to return and to tell others about their experience. Authenticity is among the attributes that restaurateurs seek to provide; and a wealth of study has been conducted to understand authenticity in a variety of contexts including ethnic-themed restaurants. However; insufficient attention has been given to non-themed domestic restaurants; which make up a significant proportion of available dining options. This study aimed to explore the role of authenticity as part of the concepts offered by domestic restaurants in Switzerland. Interviews with managers of 30 domestic restaurants were analyzed according to their content and interpreted according to authenticity dimensions identified by Karrebaek and Maegaard (2017) and Coupland and Coupland (2014). The approach of using a framework with four dimensions—“tradition”, “place”, “performance”, and “material”—was a useful epistemological lens to view the construct of authenticity. Participants from country restaurants placed more importance on tradition, while restaurateurs from both country and urban restaurants emphasized the importance of seasonal and regional ingredients and of fitting the restaurant within the cultural and geographical landscape. Managers of domestic restaurants in Switzerland see authenticity as a way of attracting and retaining customers, which can thereby contribute to the economic sustainability of restaurants, although the participants cautioned that customer expectations of sufficient choice can outweigh the added value of authenticity. Authenticity of the product offered by domestic restaurants can also contribute to the sustainability of place by enabling continuity of cultural heritage and traditions. These results provide a basis for future research that could guide restaurateurs’ decisions of how to include authenticity when developing and implementing their concepts for domestic restaurants.
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Collaboration during aesthetic production is inherently complex, involving difficult-to-articulate aspects of aesthetic judgement as well as relational questions that are inherently power-laden. Particularly in situations where actors do not share background conditions or judgement criteria, aesthetic collaboration poses conceptual and practical challenges. Through an in-depth case study of a French haute cuisine programme in Shanghai, China, we propose a relational-epistemic approach to aesthetic collaboration, in which aesthetic judgement and relational positioning mutually shape how chef trainees come to understand their creative products. Specifically, aesthetic collaboration was shaped by whether participants understood their mutual relationships as antagonistic or integrative, and whether they considered aesthetics as a matter of objective knowledge, cultural tradition or co-construction. Based on our results, we explore the implications of the relationalepistemic approach in understanding organizational aesthetics, especially in the context of the culture industries and haute cuisine specifically.
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An increasing number of entrepreneurial ventures are growing at exponential rates despite their founders' professed intentions not to grow their firms. We refer to these individuals as artisan entrepreneurs. Through an inductive, phenomenon-based research approach, we explore how artisan entrepreneurs subscribe to a counter-institutional identity yet engage in a divergent set of behaviors. We discover that artisans' counter-institutional identity contains two sides—promoting the exclusion of ‘who we are not’ (oppositional identity) or providing support for ‘who we are’ (relational identity). We theorize that artisan entrepreneurs' differing views regarding their independence led to very different approaches to growth. When artisans either do not see forms of external control as impinging on their independence or sense that serving stakeholders is a means to perform relational identity work, they embrace growth. Thus, artisans may find that growth serves stakeholders, but funding growth brings about financial pressures, which may force the artisan down a path of growth.
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Of growing interest to social scientists in recent years is the emergence of food culture, i.e., the consumption and lifestyle behaviours of those who harbour a particular preoccupation with food. In many ways, food culture could be used as an index for late modernity and late capitalism—we can identify in its midst various processes of individuation, abstractions of moral consumption, and attempts at mitigating against various late modern processes. Food culture has also emerged in recent years in Poland as an analogous process to the arrival of late capitalism. In this way, in Poland, as elsewhere, food could be understood as an ontologically compelling medium for metaphysical concerns that the structural used to support—for example, moral, ethical, political, and identity-based concerns. The following paper will make an account for how Polish food bloggers understand authenticity in their food choices and lifestyles, and how this is heavily determined by the Polish ‘post-socialist’ context, which is also a new emergent field of enquiry in Polish food studies. The paper will therefore explore the three themes of authenticity that emerge from the interviews and determine that something is authentic to the bloggers when it is (a) free from lies, (b) true to itself, and/or (c) made by the bloggers (“DIY”). The paper will consequently argue that the bloggers’ engagement with food, and their broader lifestyle choices, are contingent on these perceived notions of authenticity and, indeed, authenticity is something that they are always trying to secure in their lives, often through food itself. Moreover, these themes of authenticity, and the categories that underpin them, are often closely connected to the post-socialist experience. Abstractions of time, alienation, community, the environment, food production and identity all come to be anxious categories post-1989, and the bloggers often narrate their experiences with food and lifestyles in relation to these concerns. For the Polish food bloggers, therefore, authenticity is a confused and contested category in post-socialism, but also late modernity, and food culture becomes one way of negotiating this.
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What happens in the aftermath of the introduction of a new status ranking? In this study, we exploit the unique empirical opportunity generated by the release of the first edition of the Michelin Guide for Washington, DC, in the fall of 2016. We build on prior work on rankings as insecurity-inducing devices by suggesting that newly awarded high-status actors modify their self-presentation attributes to fit with what they believe audiences expect from the elite. Our results show that, depending on their standing prior to Michelin’s entry, restaurants acted upon different attributes of their self-presentation. Restaurants with high prior standing emphasized attributes that channeled authenticity and exclusivity, which may imply that their Michelin designation triggered operational changes. Actors with low prior standing, on the other hand, acted on descriptive attributes that did not necessarily imply operational changes and could be easily manipulated to signal their belonging among the elite. We contribute to research on status and conformity by disentangling the sources and types of conformity behaviors that newly awarded high-status actors deploy. This paper was accepted by Lamar Pierce, organizations.
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The quest for authentic experiences has been evidenced in modern society, either as a pursuit for product purchases, leisure experiences, or true self. Many studies have investigated authenticity and attempted to operationalise this complex concept in several ways. While being well examined since the 1970s by tourism researchers such as MacCannell (1973, 1976) and Cohen (1979), scholarly interest in authenticity remains prevalent in current hospitality and tourism research. In the dining context, the extant literature has only studied authenticity from the dimensions of the cultural/ethnic theme displayed, the food, and the servicescape, lacking a multi-dimensional approach for understanding authenticity in dining experiences. Nevertheless, a small number of studies have started considering dining experiences as a product, which directs research attention to the backstage role of the producer-organisation in constructing authenticity cues. Delivering authentic experiences in restaurants has moved beyond the core product itself (the food), and increasingly demands the producerorganisation to project its own true qualities to co-construct these dining experiences. This thesis attempts to offer a comprehensive understanding of consumers’ perceptions of authenticity in dining experiences. In doing so, it also conceptualises authenticity as a multidimensional notion by incorporating conceptualisations of authenticity from various disciplines. Following this line of argument, the overarching proposition of the thesis is that authenticity is a multi-dimensional concept, encompassing Authenticity of the Other, Authenticity of the Producer, and Authenticity of the Self. The thesis was guided by three interrelated research objectives to address the proposition. A three-phase mixed-methods design was adopted to fulfil the research objectives and a dataset of over a million online reviews was scraped from a popular restaurant review platform, which was subsequently sampled and analysed using an integrated learning approach. This thesis is structured as a series of papers. The research began with a systematic review (Paper 1) to investigate the gaps in the existing literature and three research directions were subsequently explored in the papers which followed. Informed by the gaps identified in the review regarding advanced analytical approaches of online reviews, Paper 2 served as the methodology employed in the thesis, proposing a systematic approach that integrates traditional research methods and machine learning to conceptualise multi-dimensional concepts using online reviews. Reflecting the utility of the methodological approach proposed in Paper 2, Paper 3 used traditional data collection and analysis method (quota sampling and thematic analysis) in the examination of online reviews to understand how consumers form authenticity perceptions in dining experiences. In addition, Paper 4 applied integrated learning which used the outcomes from proportionate random sampling and manual classification to direct machine learning in classification modeling, in order to determine the multi-dimensionality of authenticity in dining experiences. Overall, the findings suggest that authenticity is a multi-dimensional concept, encompassing Authenticity of the Other, Authenticity of the Producer, and Authenticity of the Self, thus supporting the overarching proposition. Additionally, beside historical and categorical authenticity which have been previously explored in the literature, a new type of authenticity - Deviated Authenticity – emerged as a sub-dimension of Authenticity of the Other. Through the close-up examination of online reviews, a demonstration of consumers’ judgements about authenticity in dining experiences is also provided, which depicts several authenticity cues in the dining context. This thesis offers theoretical, methodological, and practical contributions. Theoretically, it advances the current conceptualisations of authenticity not only in dining experiences, but also in tourism, management and organisational studies contexts. Methodologically, the thesis calls for greater attention to well-documented and systematic integrated learning approaches in text analytics to conceptualise multi-dimensional concepts in consumer research. It does this, while heightening the important complementary role of traditional research methods in the era of more prevalent machine learning and big data analytics. Practically, this thesis informs restaurants and other service-based businesses how to identify and segment their consumers based on their assessments and expectations of authenticity, as well as what constitutes authenticity in dining experiences, and the interaction of restaurant attributes in constructing authentic dining experiences.
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As the prevalence of AI-generated content increases, examining viewers' perceptions of the content is crucial to understanding the human-machine relationship and further facilitating efficient human-machine collaboration. Prior literature has accumulated mixed findings regarding subjects' attitudes toward and perceptions of news and tweets written by natural language generation (NLG) algorithms. To resolve this inconsistency and expand our understanding beyond NLG, this study investigated the explicit and implicit perceptions of AI-generated poetry and painting held by subjects from two societies. An experimental survey was conducted to examine the subjects' explicit and implicit perceptions of AI-generated content in the U.S. and China. As the U.S. and China fiercely compete to lead the development of AI technology, their citizens exhibit divergent attitudes toward AI's performance in artistic work. The U.S. subjects were more critical of the AI-than the human-generated content, both explicitly and implicitly. Although the Chinese subjects were overtly positive about the AI-generated content, they appreciated less this content than the human-authored content. The findings enrich our understanding in the domain of AI generation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Thesis
L’émergence de la technologie des médias digitaux durant les dernières décennies a transformé la manière dont les organisations sont évaluées. Chaque jour, dans de multiples plateformes et sites web, des individus divulguent des informations sur leurs interactions avec des organisations. En comparaison des critiques professionnels traditionnels, les utilisateurs et les consommateurs digitaux tendent à partager des expériences subjectives et partiales, à être moins enclins à être pondérés, et souvent à donner plus d’importance au contenu émotionnel. Alors que davantage de consommateurs s’appuient sur cette information pour leurs choix d’achat, les entreprises dans beaucoup de secteurs se trouvent dans une position où il est difficile d’ignorer les opinions exprimées en ligne par les consommateur. Dans cette thèse, j’étudie la manière dont les stratégies et les comportements des organisations sont influencées par cette «démocratisation» des processus d’évaluation. Le contexte empirique de mes analyses est celui du secteur de la restauration haut-de-gamme.Dans le premier chapitre, j’étudie les commentaires en ligne comme source d’information pour les restaurants, qui peuvent avoir l’opportunité d’apprendre des problèmes et d’améliorations potentielles. J’examine quelles sont les caractéristiques des feedbacks des consommateurs qui ont le plus de chances d’être prises en considération par les restaurants ciblés. A partir d’une expérimentation en ligne dans le secteur de la restauration haut-de-gamme en France, je trouve que les preneurs de décision allouent leur attention aux feedbacks desquels on attend qu’ils aient le plus fort effet sur la réputation et la performance du restaurant. Cependant, je trouve également des éléments corroborant un effet «perturbation» provenant des émotions évoquées par certaines caractéristiques des feedbacks. Dans le deuxième chapitre, j’analyse les effets de l’interaction entre les évaluations des amateurs et des experts. En particulier, j’étude l’entrée d’un évaluateur expert (i.e. le guide Michelin) sur le marché, et la manière dont il pousse certaines organisations à faire des choix stratégiques qui signalent leurs aspirations. En construisant sur la littérature sur le statut organisationnel, je trouve que certains restaurants mieux évalués par le guide Michelin font des changements dans leur offre en visant à s’auto-identifier avec le groupe d’élite. Ces changements consistent à adopter ou à exclure certaines caractéristiques affichées dans les menus. De plus, en utilisant les techniques du «topic modeling» appliquées à des commentaires sur Yelp, j’observe que certaines réactions des consommateurs à propos de l’entrée du guide Michelin font que les restaurants apparaissent plus ou moins sensibles aux évaluations de l’expert. Dans le troisième chapitre, je me concentre sur la manière dont les organisations utilisent des réponses publiques adressées aux consommateurs pour répondre aux critiques en ligne. Les études récentes n’offrent pas de conclusion nette sur les bénéfices en termes de réputation des réponses publics aux commentaires. Ces réponses peuvent réduire la probabilité de recevoir des commentaires négatifs dans le futur mais, dans le même temps, elles attirent l’attention sur les problèmes en question. M’appuyant sur la littérature existante sur la réputation et sur l’«impression management», je propose que les organisations peuvent résoudre cet arbitrage en utilisant stratégiquement les différents types de réponses verbales (ex: l’excuse). Bien que les réponses publiques adressées aux consommateurs puissent être contre-productives, adapter le style des réponses publiques aux caractéristiques des commentaires des consommateurs peut être une stratégie optimale pour les organisations. Dans cette étude, j’analyse les commentaires pour des restaurants situées en France et aux États-Unis en utilisant des modèles économétriques standards appuyés sur des techniques de «supervised learning».
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This study examines the nexus between knowledge management and gastronomy, and associated implications for the development of a region’s culinary destination image. The journey of three model restaurateurs is investigated considering key perspectives of the knowledge-based view of the firm. Face-to-face, unstructured interviews conducted on-site revealed the significance of capacity for aggregation, appropriability, specialisation, and knowledge requirements of production in defining the path of the business, including by adopting sustainable food sourcing and production practices, with transferability being partly manifested. Complementing these findings, a distinctive dimension of capacity for aggregation emerged. Indeed, along with their growing expertise and knowledge of culinary arts, participants advocated for stronger principles, including with regard to the consistency of product and service delivery across their industry, seemingly taking a leadership role, setting standards and seeking to inspire others. The links between the knowledge-based foundations and the findings are illustrated through a proposed theoretical framework.
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Styles of consumption indicate social status. This study aims to understand the influence of external constraints on status displays via two consumption styles – cultural omnivorousness and authenticity. Using a large-scale dataset of Yelp restaurant reviews and the 2015 American Community Survey, we find evidence that the ease – travel distance, neighborhood wealth, and the availability of culturally unique and authentic restaurants – with which status can be obtained via a consumption strategy influences preference for that strategy. Though limited to observations at the neighborhood level, our findings provide corroboration for existing theories about 1) individuals’ motivations to display cultural omnivorousness and authenticity in online review sites, and 2) the ways that these status displays are motivated by availability. Findings also indicate that while new media increase the access to information about cultural products, status display appears to have adapted to emphasize new scarcities, particularly localized knowledge.
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A rich literature on commensuration and standards of evaluation has yielded important findings on how items are valued. Over the course of a two-year ethnography, we witnessed one effort to create a new economic practice—a monthly swap of “homemade food”—start promisingly but ultimately fail as participants were unable to reach consensus on valuations. They rejected each other’s offerings on numerous grounds, including proximity to industrial food, packaging, and excess “artisanal-ness” and alterity, forcing participants to “thread the needle” in search of acceptable qualities. Multiple or competing logics can be reconciled with clear institutional definitions, by using money, or via relational work. In our site, none of these mechanisms were operative. Instead, a multivalent alternative identity biased toward oppositional criteria impeded valuations and robust exchange. We believe this problem is common to a larger class of organizations that define themselves in opposition to the dominant market.
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Research in organizational theory suggests that category-spanning organizations typically suffer penalties in evaluations, as consumers downgrade producers they see as violating authenticity norms. We challenge this view by linking two heretofore separate insights: first, that categorical boundaries erode as categories become taken-for-granted and, second, that consumers in a given category tend to become more heterogeneous as their numbers increase. We argue that newer consumers employ diverse evaluative schemata and rely less on established conceptions of authenticity than do veterans, leading to more generous evaluations as the ranks of consumers grow. Using the canonical case of craft beer, we test the effect of audience growth on consumer evaluations, particularly when producers violate categorical authenticity norms. Our analysis of an original dataset of more than 45,000 ratings of craft beers from a popular online forum finds both that overall beer ratings increase and that penalties to authenticity norm violations attenuate as the number of new reviewers participating in the evaluative process rises. These results refine our understanding of shifting demands for categorical purity, conceptions of authenticity, and consumer evaluations as functions of market growth.
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Branded entertainment is embedded in alternative brand contact planning to create brand experiences towards customer-based brand resonance for strategic brand building. Many advertising practitioners are still orientating themselves in the art of creating impactful, strategically significant entertainment experiences for an entertainment category that has only been in existence since 2012. This research aimed to invite the perspectives of fifteen multinational award winning branded entertainment industry practitioners across six continents to identify the challenges facing branded entertainment and to advise on strategically significant practice-based principles. Findings indicated the existence of a compelling, authentic narrative as the foundation of branded entertainment as well as various other factors to be taken into consideration when planning and executing a branded entertainment campaigns to build brand resonance.
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Can the existential notion of "authenticity" developed by Heidegger and Sartre be applied to works of art? Can a work of art be authentic in the way in which Dasein or a human individual can be authentic? Is the attribution of "authenticity" to a work of art an aesthetic valuation?
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Considers structural inertia in organizational populations as an outcome of an ecological-evolutionary process. Structural inertia is considered to be a consequence of selection as opposed to a precondition. The focus of this analysis is on the timing of organizational change. Structural inertia is defined to be a correspondence between a class of organizations and their environments. Reliably producing collective action and accounting rationally for their activities are identified as important organizational competencies. This reliability and accountability are achieved when the organization has the capacity to reproduce structure with high fidelity. Organizations are composed of various hierarchical layers that vary in their ability to respond and change. Organizational goals, forms of authority, core technology, and marketing strategy are the four organizational properties used to classify organizations in the proposed theory. Older organizations are found to have more inertia than younger ones. The effect of size on inertia is more difficult to determine. The variance in inertia with respect to the complexity of organizational arrangements is also explored. (SRD)
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This paper argues for greater attention to employment-based organizational identities in ecological theory and research. I define and explore three dimensions of particular relevance to labor market identities: sharpness/resonance, focus and authenticity. The paper offers some speculations regarding: (i) when labor market identities are most decisive for organizations; (ii) how product market and labor market identities interact; (iii) how employment-based organizational identities might be operationalized; and (iv) how greater attention to such identities would illuminate key issues in organizational ecology. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.
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Sociological researchers have studied the consequences of strong categorical boundaries, but have devoted little attention to the causes and consequences of boundary erosion. This study analyzes the erosion of categorical boundaries in the case of opposing category pairs. The authors propose that categorical boundaries weaken when the borrowing of elements from a rival category by high-status actors triggers emulation such that the mean number of elements borrowed by others increases and the variance in the number of elements borrowed declines. It is suggested that penalties to borrowing in the form of downgraded evaluations by critics exist, but decline as the number of peers who borrow increases. The research setting is French gastronomy during the period from 1970 to 1997, when classical and nouvelle cuisines were rival categories competing for the allegiance of chefs. The results broadly support the authors' hypotheses, indicating that chefs redrew the boundaries of culinary categories, which critics eventually recognized. Implications for research on blending and segregating processes are outlined.
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This article introduces a new ecological approach to the study of form emergence based on the notion of an organizational community—a bounded set of forms with related identities. Applying the approach to 48 organizational forms in the health care sector, this study suggests that the development of novel forms is affected by the positioning of their identities with respect to existing form identities in the community, by the aggregate density and size of organizations matching those existing identities, and by the amount of attention directed at identity attributes by sector participants. Findings show that the process of form emergence is subject to population‐dependent effects akin to those noted previously for organizational entries within established populations. The aggregate density and size of organizations with similar identities increase the probability of form emergence to a point (cross‐form legitimation), but highly saturated regions of the identity space tend to be uninviting to new forms (cross‐form competition).
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Talk is poetry: sociological poetry - rhythmic webs of connotative meaning bound together within a social structural matrix. Meaning depends upon a community of shared understanding in which strings of lexical items are interpreted. When we talk about things" we do not directly refer to the whole of our thought - our language is necessarily imprecise and capable of variable interpretations. Garfinkel's recognition of the presence of the "etc. rule" underlines that much of what we know we must leave unstated - full explication is a never-ending process. 1 In practice, however, speakers hope to draw from each other similar evocations. In Isenberg's terms we strive "to induce a sameness of vision, of experienced contentY 2 When this shared understanding occurs, it is because we have had similar experiences and have been taught to understand them in similar ways. Symbols are but marginally precise. This circumstance was nicely captured by George Herbert Mead in Mind, Self and Society: It is the task not only of the actor but of the artist as well to find the sort of expression that will arouse in others what is going on in himself. The lyric poet has an experience of beauty with an emotional thrill to it, and as an artist using words he is seeking for those words which will answer to his emotional attitude, and which will call out in others the attitude he himself has?
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Authentic objects are those that have an historical link to a person, event, time, or place of some significance (e.g., original Picasso painting; gown worn by Princess Diana; your favorite baby blanket). The current study examines everyday beliefs about authentic objects, with three primary goals: to determine the scope of adults' evaluation of authentic objects, to examine such evaluation in two distinct cultural settings, and to determine whether a person's attachment history (i.e., whether or not they owned an attachment object as a child) predicts evaluation of authentic objects. We found that college students in the U.K. (N = 125) and U.S. (N = 119) consistently evaluate a broad range of authentic items as more valuable than matched control (inauthentic) objects, more desirable to keep, and more desirable to touch, though only non-personal authentic items were judged to be more appropriate for display in a museum. These patterns were remarkably similar across the two cultural contexts. Additionally, those who had an attachment object as a child evaluated objects more favorably, and in particular judged authentic objects to be more valuable. Altogether, these results demonstrate broad endorsement of "positive contagion" among college-educated adults.
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In this paper we introduce a conceptual distinction between a hedonic and transcendent conception of value. We posit three linguistic earmarks by which one can distinguish these conceptions of value. We seek validation for the conceptual distinctions by examining the language contained in reviews of cars and reviews of paintings. In undertaking the empirical examination, we draw on the work of Halliday to identify clauses as fundamental units of meaning and to specify process types that can be mapped onto theoretical distinctions between the two conceptions of value. Extensions of this research are discussed. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.