Organizational Identity and Performance: An inquiry into Nonconforming Company Names


Choosing the right company name is challenging and may have major consequences for firm prospects. Drawing on the strategic conformity literature, we investigate the implications of "nonconforming" company names, i.e. foreign sounding and family-unrelated, for family firms' performance. Consistent with the idea that such names endow the business with greater visibility and recognition, we find that nonconforming names are positively associated with financial performance. This association is stronger when the firm operates in an industry with a low share of nonconforming peers and a high share of eponymous peers, in a crowded product class, and is smaller than industry peers. Collectively, our analysis provides new evidence on the strategic implications of company names.

Forthcoming Long Range Planning