Deviance as a Means to Build a Legitimate Career: Evidence from the EDM Industry

Amandine Marie Ody-Brasier, Xu Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In many occupational communities, informal norm enforcement emerges as a substitute for looser intellectual property (IP) laws. We propose that when a behavior is illegal but not illegitimate within a community, the latter may informally reward lawbreakers as a means of re-affirming its jurisdiction in defining what is appropriate (or not). Specifically, when the behavior is construed as a sincere commitment to core occupation-specific values, lawbreakers may be rewarded with greater opportunities to advance their career than law-abiding peers. To investigate this proposition, we focus on community responses to illegal remixing in Electronic and Dance Music (EDM) -- a community where there is no norm about this practice. In combination with fine-grained interview data, we use a unique dataset on the employment outcomes of nearly 40,000 Disc Jockey (DJs) over 10 years. Our analyses provide strong support for the view that the community disputes the unwelcome intrusion of legal authorities in their work by giving lawbreakers more opportunities to "play gigs" than DJs who release original music or even legal remixes. We discuss some important implications of our findings for the scholarship on norm enforcement and managerial leniencies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighty-second Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsSonja Taneja
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022: Creating a Better World Together - Seattle, United States
Duration: 5 Aug 20229 Aug 2022
Conference number: 82


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings

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