Status (dis)Advantage : Effect of Stakeholder Diversity and Deviation in Group Norms in Online Matrimonial Platforms
Information Systems and Operations Management
Speaker : Sabari Rajan KARMEGAM
Doctoral Candidate University of Maryland (UMD)
HEC Campus - Jouy-En-Josas - Buil. V - Room Bernard Ramanantsoa
Online digital platforms have fundamentally transformed many economic activities that were traditionally managed offline. Early platform adopters focused on activities that were easily codifiable and modular. As "platformization" becomes, more commonplace, highly institutionalized contexts are moving online, raising questions about whether the institutional norms prevalent in the offline setting will transfer to the new context seamlessly. In this paper, we study the transition of one such heavily institutionalized context - arranged marriages in India. Using data provided by a leading online matrimonial platform, we specifically investigate if the traditional markers of status - involvement of parents in the search process, social norms related to endogamy, and norms associated with gender, remain influential on the platform. Our analysis shows that when the matrimonial matching process moves online, the influence of offline norms is attenuated, in terms of their appeal to counter-parties on the platform. We observe that profiles managed by parents have lower profile appeal, while deviation from group norms are viewed as being more appealing. Furthermore, we see that these effects are higher for women. In summary, our work provides evidence for institutional unbundling, wherein the move to online platforms for the search process has allowed new institutional norms to emerge. The prevalent norms on the online matching context appear to be guided by a more liberal ethos, with implications for both platform owners and policymakers. Our work thus extends the platforms literature in evaluating contexts where highly institutional settings move online, showing that such movements are likely to be associated with significant changes in social and institutional norms.
Sabari Karmegam is Ph.D. candidate at Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland(UMD), College Park. His research interests lie in Digital Strategy and Online Platforms with a focus on Mechanism Design and Institutional Norms. In his research, he studies settings that have remained relatively under-explored in IS research, such as online matrimonial platforms and ebook platforms for schools and public libraries. He actively works with firms for his research projects and consults senior management as part of industry collaboration. Prior to joining the doctoral program at UMD, he worked in the IT services industry for 11 years. Around the time he left, he was Senior Program Manager at Cognizant Technology Solutions, managing a large multi-million dollar IT initiative. He also has a background in law and uses that knowledge to consult early-stage firms in India