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A legitimacy model for future research: a meta-analysis of literature on organisational legitimacy

Wills, D ORCID: 0000-0001-8778-8811 2017 , 'A legitimacy model for future research: a meta-analysis of literature on organisational legitimacy', paper presented at the A-CSEAR2017, 7-9 December 2017, Nadi, Fiji.

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Purpose: Suchman (1995) identified a need to broaden the application of legitimacy theory to observe a full range of legitimating techniques available for organisational legitimacy management. The aim of this research is identify whether research on organisational legitimacy since this time has addressed these concerns. This research analyses and consolidates the literature on organisational legitimacy, to identify common themes studied, and observe legitimating techniques identified to date to facilitate the development of a model of legitimacy management and identify pathways for potential research. Design/methodology/approach: A meta-analysis of research on organisational legitimacy for the period 1995 to 2015 was undertaken. A search of literature on organisational legitimacy, predominantly from business journals resulted in the collation of a set of 167 papers which were examined and analysed to identify themes and trends in the literature over the twenty year period. Findings: The paper presents an overview of literature on organisational legitimacy, demonstrating trends in the research to date, and proposing a set of possible legitimating techniques for future investigation and a model of legitimacy management. Originality/value: The research presents a range of communication based and structural/procedural based legitimating techniques identified in the literature, demonstrating possibilities for a broader application of legitimacy theory in future research along with a model of legitimacy management for further study.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors/Creators:Wills, D
Keywords: organisational legitimacy, meta-analysis, legitimacy tools, legitimating techniques
Journal or Publication Title: A-CSEAR 2017 Programme Guide
Publisher: The University of the South Pacific
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