Leadership and Legitimacy
University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration, UZH Business Working Paper No. 308.
44 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2012 Last revised: 31 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 30, 2012
The article links leadership and legitimacy in globalizing business. It forwards a framework for analyzing how actors in organizations may build and maintain organizational legitimacy through different strategies. The discussion connects strategies for legitimizing organizational conduct across levels of analysis, highlighting the role of leadership in this process. The article builds on organizational discourse analysis to explain how individual actors may shape societal perceptions around organizational legitimacy. The presented framework highlights three generic strategies and the corresponding processes associated with leading toward legitimacy. In this way, it emphasizes mechanisms for gaining and maintaining legitimacy for each strategic response of the organization in relation to rhetorical tactics used to influence discourses and the resulting necessary leadership resources. The framework offers future theoretical and empirical research directions for the analysis of legitimacy discourses.
Keywords: discourse analysis, leadership, legitimacy, level of analysis, strategies
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