Imperial College London


Business School

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy



+44 (0)20 7594 1336c.hampel Website




289Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

6 results found

Hampel CE, Tracey P, Weber K, 2020, The art of the pivot: How new ventures manage identification relationships with stakeholders as they change direction, Academy of Management Journal, Vol: 63, Pages: 440-471, ISSN: 0001-4273

Many new ventures have to pivot – radically transform what they are about – because their original approach has failed. However, pivoting risks disrupting relationships with key stakeholders, such as user communities, who identify with ventures. Stakeholders may respond by withdrawing support and starving ventures of the resources needed to thrive. This can pose an existential threat to ventures, yet it is unclear how they can manage this problem. To explore this important phenomenon, we conduct a qualitative process study of The Impossible Project, a photography venture which encountered significant resistance from its user community as it pivoted from an analog focus to an analog-digital positioning. We develop a process model of stakeholder identification management that reveals how ventures can use identification reset work to defuse tensions with stakeholders whose identification with the venture is threatened. A core finding is that ventures can remove the affective hostility of stakeholders and rebuild connections with many of them by exposing their struggles, thus creating a bond focused around these shared experiences. We offer contributions to scholarship on identification management, user community identification, and pivoting.

Journal article

Hampel C, Perkmann M, Phillips N, 2020, Beyond the lean start-up: experimentation in corporate entrepreneurship and innovation, Innovation: Organization & Management, Vol: 22, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 1447-9338

In this essay, we argue that entrepreneurship and innovation researchers should pay more attention to experimentation as an approach to innovation and corporate entrepreneurship in established firms. While there is a growing body of research examining experimentation in start-ups, there is no corresponding literature investigating the role of experiments in the innovation and corporate entrepreneurship activities of established firms despite the increasing interest in experimentation among managers and the growing practitioner literature urging established firms to adopt experimentation. We discuss this trend and point to a number of research areas that we believe deserve systematic research.

Journal article

Hampel C, Tracey P, 2019, Introducing a spectrum of moral evaluation: integrating organizational stigmatization and moral legitimacy, Journal of Management Inquiry, Vol: 28, Pages: 11-15, ISSN: 1056-4926

Audiences frequently change how they evaluate organizations, and these judgments often have a moral basis. For example, audiences may shift their evaluation from stigmatization to legitimacy or vice versa. These radical shifts in audience evaluation can have a major impact on organizations, yet organization theory struggles to account for them. We offer a solution to this problem by proposing a spectrum of moral evaluation that situates key moral judgments relative to each other. Our core argument is that integrating stigmatization and moral legitimacy into a broader spectrum of moral evaluation provides organization theorists with a much-needed toolkit to explore the consequential normative transformations often experienced by contemporary organizations. Specifically, it allows for a graded conception of moral evaluation, connects concepts – stigma and legitimacy – that are often considered in isolation, and offers opportunities for theoretical cross-fertilization.

Journal article

Cornwell TB, Howard-Grenville J, Hampel C, 2018, The company you keep: How an organization's horizontal partnerships affect employee organizational identification, Academy of Management Review, Vol: 43, Pages: 772-791, ISSN: 0363-7425

Despite recognizing the importance of external dynamics to employee organizational identification, this factor is under explored in today's evermore interdependent organizations. We theorize how organizational identification can be influenced by an employer's horizontal partnerships with entities such as sport teams or charities. Drawing on insights from the organizational identification and marketing literatures, we explore how events concerning an organization's horizontal partner become salient to employees, how they evaluate the implications of the partnership, and how their identification may shift as a result. Surprisingly, our model reveals that partnerships that have low congruence may lead to significant positive identification shifts for some individuals; while partnerships that are seemingly positive for an organization may result in negative identification shifts. Our theorizing makes two important contributions. First, it introduces the potential of horizontal relationships with other organizations to shape the important work relationship of identification with the focal employing organization. Second, it outlines the processes through which horizontal partners can make a difference in work relationships and sets the stage to better understand how they can strengthen and hinder these relationships, as well as encroach on non-work life.

Journal article

Hampel CE, Tracey P, 2017, How organizations move from stigma to legitimacy: the case of Cook's travel agency in Victorian Britain, Academy of Management Journal, Vol: 60, Pages: 2175-2207, ISSN: 0001-4273

Based on an in-depth historical study of how Thomas Cook’s travel agency moved from stigmatization to legitimacy among the elite of Victorian Britain, we develop a model of organizational destigmatization. We find that audiences stigmatize an organization because they fear that it threatens a particular moral order, which leads them to mount sustained attacks designed to weaken or eradicate the organization. Our model suggests that an organization that experiences this form of profound disapproval can nonetheless purge its stigma and become legitimate through a two-step process: first the organization engages in stigma reduction work designed to minimize overt hostility among audiences by showing that it does not pose a risk to them. Second it engages in stigma elimination work designed to gain support from stigmatizers by showing that it plays a positive role in society. Our study therefore reorients organizational stigma research from a focus on how organizations can cope with the effects of stigma, and considers instead how they can eradicate the stigma altogether. We also shed light on much neglected audience-level dynamics by examining the process through which audiences construct stigma and why these constructions may change.

Journal article

Hampel C, Lawrence TE, Tracey P, 2017, Institutional Work: Taking Stock and Making it Matter, SAGE Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism (2nd ed.)., Editors: Greenwood, Oliver, Lawrence, Meyer, Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd, Pages: 558-590, ISBN: 9781529712117

In this chapter, we have two aims: to review the first decade of research on institutional work,and to explore how the institutional work perspective can have a greater impact on institutions“that matter”. We structure our review around the “what”, “who” and “how” of institutionalwork to highlight key developments and identify problematic gaps. We find that scholarship inthis tradition has focused primarily on middle-range institutions with limited scope, relativelyhomogenous actor networks, and the use of symbolic work. This has come at the expense ofresearch on large-scale institutions with cross-field impacts, heterogeneous actor networks, andthe use of material as well relational work. We argue it will be crucial to address theseshortcomings if we are to enable the institutional work perspective to become a practical andimpactful tool for addressing major social problems. This chapter encourages scholars to developresearch on institutional work to tackle the challenges surrounding the institutions that matter.

Book chapter

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