Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 28, 2017

Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth Annual Meeting

Jean-Pascal Gond, Laurence Vigneau
Pages 68-81

How Do Measures Become Academically Acceptable?
A Case Study of the Kinder Lydenberg and Domini (KLD) database

Although measurement is central to knowledge production, little is known about the process by which a dataset becomes accepted by academics as an appropriate way of measuring a phenomenon. Relying on actor-network theory and prior studies of the construction of organizational knowledge, and using the Kinder Lydenberg and Domini (KLD) database as a case, we analyze the activities that enabled the adoption of this dataset. Informed by a systematic content analysis of 573 articles referring to KLD and interviews with KLD experts, we develop a process model that explains how datasets become accepted in academia and linked to theoretical concepts. In making visible the practical, symbolic and conceptual work that underlie a dataset adoption in academia, we show how academics can potentially be influenced by practitioners through metrics. Our findings also highlight the importance of reflexivity and mindfulness in the use of datasets.