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Managing legitimacy in complex and heterogeneous environments: Sustainable development in a globalized world


Scherer, Andreas Georg; Palazzo, Guido; Seidl, David (2013). Managing legitimacy in complex and heterogeneous environments: Sustainable development in a globalized world. Journal of Management Studies, 50(2):259-284.

Abstract

The sustainability problems with regard to the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services increasingly challenge the legitimacy of corporations. The literature distinguishes three strategies that corporations commonly employ to respond to legitimacy problems: adapt to external expectations, manipulate the perception of their stakeholders, or engage in a discourse with those who question their legitimacy. We discuss three approaches to determine the appropriate response strategy: one-best-way approach, contingency approach, and paradox approach. We argue that in the face of heterogeneous environments with conflicting demands, corporations that follow a paradox approach are likely to be more successful in preserving their legitimacy than those that adopt one of the other two approaches. We develop a theoretical framework for the application of different response strategies and explore the management of paradoxes by way of structural, contextual, or reflective means.

Abstract

The sustainability problems with regard to the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services increasingly challenge the legitimacy of corporations. The literature distinguishes three strategies that corporations commonly employ to respond to legitimacy problems: adapt to external expectations, manipulate the perception of their stakeholders, or engage in a discourse with those who question their legitimacy. We discuss three approaches to determine the appropriate response strategy: one-best-way approach, contingency approach, and paradox approach. We argue that in the face of heterogeneous environments with conflicting demands, corporations that follow a paradox approach are likely to be more successful in preserving their legitimacy than those that adopt one of the other two approaches. We develop a theoretical framework for the application of different response strategies and explore the management of paradoxes by way of structural, contextual, or reflective means.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:19 Mar 2013 14:19
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:41
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0022-2380
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/joms.12014
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:8064

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