Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

The macro and the micro of legitimacy: Towards a multi-level theory of the legitimacy process


Bitektine, Alex; Haack, Patrick (2015). The macro and the micro of legitimacy: Towards a multi-level theory of the legitimacy process. Academy of Management Review, 40(1):49-75.

Abstract

The distinction of macro- and microfoundations of institutions implies a multilevel conceptualization of institutional processes. We adopt the evaluators' perspective on legitimacy to develop a multilevel theory of the legitimacy process under ideal-type conditions of institutional stability and institutional change, and we explore the dynamics of institutional change-from destabilization of the institutional order to return to stability in legitimacy judgments expressed by evaluators. We argue that through the process of institutionalization, legitimacy judgments of evaluators are subjected to social control and describe an institutional stability loop--a cross-level positive-feedback process that ensures persistence of legitimacy judgments and stability of the institutional order. Viewing institutional stability as a state of suppressed microlevel diversity, we draw researchers' attention to "silenced" legitimacy judgments and to judgment suppressor factors that induce evaluators to abstain from making their deviant judgments public. The removal of such factors leads to the (re)emergence of competing judgments in public communications and creates an opportunity for institutional change. We explore competitive strategies that address propriety or validity components of legitimacy and describe the process through which organizational fields return to a state of institutional stability.

Abstract

The distinction of macro- and microfoundations of institutions implies a multilevel conceptualization of institutional processes. We adopt the evaluators' perspective on legitimacy to develop a multilevel theory of the legitimacy process under ideal-type conditions of institutional stability and institutional change, and we explore the dynamics of institutional change-from destabilization of the institutional order to return to stability in legitimacy judgments expressed by evaluators. We argue that through the process of institutionalization, legitimacy judgments of evaluators are subjected to social control and describe an institutional stability loop--a cross-level positive-feedback process that ensures persistence of legitimacy judgments and stability of the institutional order. Viewing institutional stability as a state of suppressed microlevel diversity, we draw researchers' attention to "silenced" legitimacy judgments and to judgment suppressor factors that induce evaluators to abstain from making their deviant judgments public. The removal of such factors leads to the (re)emergence of competing judgments in public communications and creates an opportunity for institutional change. We explore competitive strategies that address propriety or validity components of legitimacy and describe the process through which organizational fields return to a state of institutional stability.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
142 citations in Web of Science®
179 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

209 downloads since deposited on 28 Aug 2019
209 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

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:2015
Deposited On:28 Aug 2019 14:48
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:42
Publisher:Academy of Management
ISSN:0363-7425
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2013.0318
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:10426

Download

Green Open Access

Download PDF  'The macro and the micro of legitimacy: Towards a multi-level theory of the legitimacy process'.
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 558kB
View at publisher