The differential categorization of novel products by institutional actors across places: The case of e-cigarettes in the US and the UK

Thinley Tharchen, Raghu Garud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adopting a place-based approach to categorization, we explore how and why institutional actors in the US and the UK have categorized e-cigarettes differently, namely as tobacco products in the US and as non-tobacco consumer products in the UK. Our inquiry identified the historical contingencies generating two different perspectives informing these differential categorizations—precautionary in the US and harm-reduction in the UK. Embedded in these two perspectives are different future imaginaries to address the harm from cigarettes and e-cigarettes to the different population groups at risk (i.e. smokers versus youth and non-smokers). Data also show institutional actors across the two countries offering justifications for or against e-cigarettes by deploying facts from different scientific research. We theorize these findings and conclude the article by discussing the importance of adopting a place-based approach to categorization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-51
Number of pages29
JournalStrategic Organization
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Education
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management

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