Does Illegitimate Corporate Behaviour Follow the Forms of Polity? The Turkish Experience

23 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2012

See all articles by Şükrü Özen

Şükrü Özen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

K. Ali Akkemik


Date Written: May 2012


In this study, we argue that illegitimate corporate actions can not only be strategic responses to the conflicting technical and institutional demands at the field level but also manifestations of the contradictory higher‐order institutional logics at the polity level. By focusing on the statist polity, somewhat neglected by the new institutional theory, we argue that the contradictory nationalist and capitalist institutional logics in the statist polity generate illegitimate corporate actions. We also propose that uncertainties and opportunities created by statist polity characteristics such as weak policy‐making capacity, neopatrimonialism, and clientelism lead to illegitimate corporate actions by triggering conflict between nationalism and capitalism. To demonstrate this, we examine the Turkish case, by focusing particularly on a recent example of illegitimate corporate action, namely the pursuit of non‐operating revenues. The case supports our arguments. It implies that illegitimate corporate behaviours may be ‘institutionalized’ as continuously reproduced by the actors embedded in a polity. It also implies that the impression management techniques to legitimate illegitimate behaviours may vary according to the forms of polity. Finally, it suggests that organizations may adopt hybrid missions as a survival strategy in a contradictory and uncertain business environment, paradoxically ultimately restricting their competitive capacities.

Keywords: illegitimate corporate actionsgovernance, managerial discretion, microfinance, institutional logicsgovernance, managerial discretion, microfinance, new institutionalismgovernance, managerial discretion, microfinance, polities

Suggested Citation

Özen, Şükrü and Akkemik, K. Ali, Does Illegitimate Corporate Behaviour Follow the Forms of Polity? The Turkish Experience (May 2012). Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 49, Issue 3, pp. 515-537, 2012. Available at SSRN: or

Şükrü Özen (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

K. Ali Akkemik

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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