Economics at your fingertips  

Social movements, identity and disruption in organizational fields: Accounting for farm animal welfare

Josie McLaren and Tony Appleyard


Abstract: In this study we provide evidence on how accounting disclosures can motivate social movement organizations (SMOs) to create a new source of normativity in an organizational field, to impact upon firms through identity, image and culture. The source of normativity, the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW), was created as a means of accounting for farm animal welfare by food companies. Working at the intersection of theories relating to organizational fields, social movements and organizational identity, we investigate how the SMOs create the conditions for change through their framing of farm animal welfare, collective action and the mobilization of resources. Ideas such as institutional agency and institutional control are introduced to explain the power dynamics that enable change. By interpreting the organizational field as a relational space, identity, self-interest and intermittently-active fields provide further constructs to explain behaviour. Evidence from BBFAW reports and publications demonstrates how the NGOs employed a multi-period strategy to effect change. A longitudinal company case study provides an illustration of the cascade of the movement, demonstrating that there is more than an alignment of accounting disclosures. New business opportunities arise, requiring a realignment of strategy, a redesign of organizational architecture and participation of stakeholders. We illustrate our findings through the creation of a framework which could be employed more widely to study of sources of normativity in a relational field. This paper shows that accounting disclosures have a role to play in creating a new normativity that generates social change.

Keywords: Animal welfare; Identity; Normativity; Organizational fields and social movements (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/

Access Statistics for this article

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING is currently edited by Marcia Annisette, Christine Cooper and Yves Gendron

Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2022-07-09
Handle: RePEc:eee:crpeac:v:84:y:2022:i:c:s1045235421000290