Impact of female executives’ fraudulent behaviour on other women employees: A contingency framework of stigma by association

Arpita Agnihotri, Saurabh Bhattacharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to discuss the adverse impact of a female executive’s fraudulent behaviour on other female employees working in the same organisation. Design/methodology/approach: This developmental study uses a comprehensive literature review and a set of propositions to identify the consequences of a female’s fraudulent activity on other female employees working in the focal organisation. It develops a conceptual framework for the same. Propositions are further supported by five focus group interviews. Findings: Leveraging stigma-by-association theory, the paper asserts that fraud committed by one female executive in an organisation enhances discriminatory practices against other female employees in the organisation. The level of adverse impact is contingent on the seniority of the female executive committing the fraud, severity of the fraud, gender of the other female employees’ managers and diversity in culture in the organisation. Research limitations/implications: This paper extends the stigma-by-association theory. In its original spirit, the theory describes how individuals who keep company with stigmatised individuals are also stigmatised. This study asserts that for this effect to take place, especially under fraudulent conditions, mere group affiliation, such as working in the same organisation, may cause an adverse effect on other women. Originality/value: The paper is based on a rich conceptual and theoretical discussion that identifies the key consequences of a female executive’s fraudulent activity in an organisation. The study also conceptually establishes the moderating relationship between a female executive’s fraudulent activity and several key organisation-level variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-815
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Organizational Analysis
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 19 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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