University of Southern California
Rhee, Eunice Yunjin.
Essays on strategic categorization.
Degree: PhD, Business Administration, 2014, University of Southern California
This dissertation proposes the notion of strategic
categorization and explores how organizations can strategically
influence the categorization process of external audiences. Extant
studies on categorization have shown that organizations that do not
fit into an external audiences’ category structure are devalued.
These studies, however, have not examined the role of organizations
in influencing their categorization and thus have failed to develop
an understanding of the categorization process that encompasses
both the organization’s categorical sensegiving and audience’s
categorical sensemaking. This dissertation helps to fill this gap
by building on micro and macro perspectives of categorization and
insights from the literature on organizational identity and
identity management to argue that organizations can influence the
categorization process of external audiences by engaging in
self-categorization strategies. The first essay develops a
theoretical framework for understanding the concept of and the
process by which organizations can engage in strategic
categorization. In particular, it argues that category studies need
to investigate insights drawn from the vertical structure of
categories in addition to the horizontal structure of categories
that has been the focus of prior studies. The second essay
empirically examines the effect of strategic categorization on
audience’s evaluations. The results based on firms that had gone
through the initial public offering (IPO) process demonstrate that
organizations can manage the degree of category inclusiveness and
range of category spanning to influence potential investors’
evaluation and that the effectiveness of such strategic
categorization depends on the level of audience knowledge and the
prevailing logic of valuation. Specifically, while the overall
results suggest that changing category inclusiveness to take on a
broader identity and changing category spanning to create a more
focused identity are positively evaluated by IPO investors, they
also show that institutional investors are influenced more by
reducing the number of categories spanned, and retail investors are
influenced more by increasing the degree of category inclusiveness.
This dissertation considerably advances the categorization
literature by revealing the role of organizational agency in the
categorization process and ways in which organizations can engage
in strategic categorization based on both vertical and horizontal
structures of categories.
Advisors/Committee Members: Fiss, Peer C. (Committee Chair), Rajagopalan, Nandini (Committee Member), Monge, Peter R. (Committee Member), Zhu, Feng (Committee Member).
Subjects/Keywords: categories; strategic categorization; category inclusiveness; labels; initial public offering; IPO
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Rhee, E. Y. (2014). Essays on strategic categorization. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Southern California. Retrieved from http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll3/id/489529/rec/2479
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Rhee, Eunice Yunjin. “Essays on strategic categorization.” 2014. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Southern California. Accessed December 04, 2020.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Rhee, Eunice Yunjin. “Essays on strategic categorization.” 2014. Web. 04 Dec 2020.
Rhee EY. Essays on strategic categorization. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Southern California; 2014. [cited 2020 Dec 04].
Available from: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll3/id/489529/rec/2479.
Council of Science Editors:
Rhee EY. Essays on strategic categorization. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Southern California; 2014. Available from: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll3/id/489529/rec/2479