Member Publication: The Politics of Alignment and the ‘Quiet Transgender Revolution’ in Fortune 500 Corporations, 2008 to 2017

Please check out the recent publication by OOW member Apoorva Ghosh:

Ghosh, Apoorva. 2021. “The Politics of Alignment and the ‘Quiet Transgender Revolution’ in Fortune 500 Corporations, 2008 to 2017.” Socio-Economic Review, Online First.

Abstract

This study shows that when social movements achieve a general acceptance for the legitimacy of their cause in the institutional environment, they may start pursuing further demands by challenging their target entities through the ‘politics of alignment,’ meaning engaging these entities in professionally developed programs and demanding specific outcomes by introducing timed interventions in them. This study exemplifies this politics using the case of American LGBT workplace movement which used its Corporate Equality Index (CEI) program to extend reputational and economic benefits to its target entities—the Fortune 500 corporations—but also added an intervention to this program in 2011 to demand the adoption of gender transition-related health benefits by these corporations as a specific movement outcome which, if not met, would make these corporations lose the benefits they had been deriving through their performance in the CEI program. A longitudinal study of 456 Fortune 500 corporations from 2008 to 2017 conducted through hazard rate analysis indicates that corporations affected by this intervention, as well as by other movement factors, were the most likely to adopt these health benefits for their employees. Further quantitative analysis—using QCA—shows that early adoptions were explained largely by the LGBT workplace movement forces and the later adoptions by insider activism and isomorphic diffusion. These findings highlight that an incisive understanding of organizational change can be best gathered by examining social movements and institutional forces together.

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