Establishing the emerging B-Corp category: The relationship of engagement and institutional work explored.

This study explores the relationship of engagement with the emerging B-Corp category and the institutional work performed to further establish the emerging B-Corp category using a mixed method design. A comparative analysis of an organization’s B-Corp profile and their corresponding ESG industry average is utilized to indicate different levels of engagement and subsequently 8 B-Corp organizations with different engagement levels are interviewed to gather data on institutional work performed. The engagement and institutional work are compared in a cross-case comparison and findings show that the low engagement organizations performed more institutional work than the high engagement organizations for material and relational work. The high engagement group performed more symbolic institutional work than the low group. This study advances the literature on categories by contradicting the categorical imperative and providing opportunities for further research. This study also shows that B-Corps from different fields collaborate together to perform institutional work to influence others. At last, the institutional work is researched on the micro level, which is on the contrary to most studies, which are on the macro level. Keywords: B-Corp, ESG, category, category emergence, engagement, institutional work.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen