Much talk at various points about legitimacy theory and evidence. The process of legitimation. The idea that to ensure success, a business must demonstrate that it shares larger societal values. The legitimacy of the “like me“.
One difficulty with “like me” referents is that one will attribute characteristics, or more of particular characteristics, than is supported by fact. One will also be less appreciative of ruse.
The disreputable know this. Appear to be one of them, in terms of values and appearance, and they’re much less likely to want to find out who you really are.
Particularly easy to go from reputable to disreputable, without ready discovery.
So people put on the image.
So businesses put on the image.
Or “he was so principled, at one time; I never saw it coming.”
Or Arthur Andersen…