Two Sides Of The Same Coin: How Category Leniency Affects Multiple Audience Evaluations
Source: University of Michigan (Ross)
Research across many literatures indicates that organizations with unclear identities will suffer in terms of external evaluations. In this paper, the author suggests that this depends on the type of audience that is evaluating the organization. Consumers tend to have a specific goal and so are put off by unfocused organizations. On the contrary, an audience of venture capitalists will not have the same aversion to an unclear identity. Organizations with unclear identities may be viewed as more flexible and as having the ability to appeal to a wide range of potential consumers. She tests these ideas in the context of the software industry for organizations that are in lenient categories and that span multiple categories.