Seminar: Asset Divestment as a Response to Media Attacks in Stigmatized Industries.

The Governance Cluster and Centre for Corporate Governance is organizing a seminar with Jean-Philippe (JP) Vergne, Assistant Professor, Ivey Business School. JP will be presenting the paper “Asset Divestment as a Response to Media Attacks in Stigmatized Industries”.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 12:30 to 13:30



In stigmatized industries characterized by hostile audiences and below-average transparency, firms do not use the same strategies as in unstigmatized industries when they face media attacks. Because they avoid publicizing their tainted-sector membership, when threatened, such firms respond by divesting assets from that industry. By analyzing asset divestment in the arms industry, we demonstrate that media attacks on the focal firm and its peers increase that firm’s likelihood of asset divestment. Specifically, attacks on the focal firm are more consequential than attacks on peers in the same industry subcategory, which, in turn, are more consequential than attacks on peers in different subcategories. These findings shed new light on strategy in stigmatized industries, the relationship between strategic decisions and impression management, and the role of infomediaries.

Profile: Before joining Ivey in 2011, Jean-Philippe Vergne received a PhD in Strategy at HEC Paris, where he taught strategy and leadership in the graduate, executive MBA and executive education programs. In 2011, his dissertation received the inaugural Grigor McClelland Doctoral Dissertation Award as well as the Fondation HEC’s Best Dissertation Award, both of which distinguish innovative scholarship in management and organization studies. Jean-Philippe’s research deals with organizational and industry evolution, with a special focus on how the social evaluations received by organizations interact with their resources and capabilities to shape organizational trajectories. He grants particular attention to the role played by socially contested organizations, such as arms producers or pirate organizations, in the evolution of capitalist societies.

JP will be available for meetings on Wednesday before and after the seminar. Those interested in a meeting are kindly requested to email Bersant Hobdari.

Please sign up for this seminar by email to Bersant Hobdari (

The page was last edited by: Sustainability Platform // 02/12/2019