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.