What happens in Vegas, doesn’t stay in Vegas: Exploring how transparency via digital media contributes to the normalization of ethically problematic business practices

19 Ottobre 2021 - 11:30 / 13:00

AT03, Viale Romania

Speaker: Dennis Schoeneborn , Copenhagen Business School


Dennis Schoeneborn (Copenhagen Business School & Leuphana University of Lüneburg)

Elena Bruni (WU Wirtschaftsuniversität Vienna & LUISS Guido Carli University Rome)

Fabian Homberg (Luiss Guido Carli University Rome)


While digital media tend to be celebrated for fostering innovation, our paper sheds light on some of the ‘dark sides’ of digitalization. More specifically, we address the normalization of ethically problematic organizational practices through their public visibilization in digital media. These considerations are grounded in an empirical study of self-reports on the social media platform Frontdesktip.com where users exchange experiences on how to best apply a small-scale bribery practice called “The $20 Sandwich Trick” to attain complimentary room upgrades in Las Vegas hotels (see also Schoeneborn & Homberg, 2018). We will present preliminary findings from a (currently ongoing) longitudinal study that explores to what extent rhetorical accounts of the “Trick” in the user self-reports on Frontdesktip.com shift over time and in this way contribute to the practice’s further legitimation and institutionalization. In conclusion, we specify theoretical implications for the interplay between digital media, (in)visibilization, and the “travelling” of ethically problematic practices.