We extend current knowledge on prosocial organizing by explaining how membership in organizational categories lead entrepreneurs to reevaluate their ﬁrms’ activities and opportunities. Through a qualitative study of 46 ﬁrms that pursued B Corp certiﬁcation, we developed an identity control model of prosocial opportunity. Our ﬁndings suggest that joining a prosocial category catalyzes identity-driven reﬂexivity, which can alter the ﬁrm’s engagement in prosocial activity. This identity-driven process occurs in tandem with evaluations of opportunity viability and attractiveness, the potential for intra-organizational conﬂict, and the relative power and position that category legitimacy aﬀords the ﬁrm. Our ﬁndings contribute to literature streams on prosocial organizing, identity, and categories.
Conger, M., McMullen, J. S., Bergman, B. J., & York, J. G. 2018. Category membership, identity control, and the reevaluation of prosocial opportunities. Journal of Business Venturing, 33(2): 179–206.