Trump’s presidential election : stigma transfer, social evaluations, and category dynamics in the U.S. luxury hotel industry

Cruz, Margarita (Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) ; Goldenstein, Jan (School of Economics and Business Administration Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany) ; Haack, Patrick (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)

The current paper focuses on category dynamics resulting from changes in the moral character of a category. We explore the process of stigma transfer from individual category members to the overall category, particularly when category members have transgressed evaluators’ moral expectations. We suggest that the stigma associated with the transgressing actions of individual category members leads to stronger and more intense reactions by evaluators in the form of lower ratings and more negative feelings towards all organizations belonging to that category. However, when self-identifying with the transgressing actor evaluators exhibit stronger positive evaluations while the intensity of their sentiments remain unchanged. Drawing on 24.000+ guests’ reviews on 145 luxury hotels in major US cities, we test our arguments within the context of the luxury hotel industry in the U.S. We model the victory of hotelier Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections as an exogenous shock and explain how and why it affected evaluation and category dynamics in the hotel industry. Our findings support our view that audience members vividly express the intensity and direction of their evaluations when in disagreement with the transgressing actor. Furthermore, our results also suggest that audience members are more vocal with respect to the intensity of their evaluations rather than the direction of their sentiments when they identify with the transgressing actor.

Conference Type:
full paper
Economie et Services
Tallinn, Estonia, 05-07 July 2018
Tallinn, Estonia
05-07 July 2018
23 p.
Published in:
Proceedings of the 34th EGOS Colloquium 2018
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 Record created 2018-10-30, last modified 2019-06-11

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