Managing Institutional Complexity: A Longitudinal Study of Legitimacy Strategies at a Sportswear Brand Company

53 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2016

See all articles by Dorothée Baumann-Pauly

Dorothée Baumann-Pauly

New York University, Center for Business and Human Rights

Andreas Georg Scherer

University of Zurich - IBW Department of Business Administration

Guido Palazzo

University of Lausanne

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Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Multinational corporations are operating in complex business environments. They are confronted with contradictory institutional demands that often represent mutually incompatible expectations of various audiences. Managing these demands poses new organizational challenges for the corporation. Conducting an empirical case study at the sportswear manufacturer Puma, we explore how multinational corporations respond to institutional complexity and what legitimacy strategies they employ to maintain their license to operate. We draw on the literature on institutional theory, contingency theory and organizational paradoxes. The results of our qualitative longitudinal study show that managing corporate legitimacy is a dynamic process in which corporations adapt organizational capacities, structures and procedures.

Keywords: Globalization, Legitimacy, Institutional Complexity, Paradox, Corporate Social Responsibility

Suggested Citation

Baumann-Pauly, Dorothée and Scherer, Andreas Georg and Palazzo, Guido, Managing Institutional Complexity: A Longitudinal Study of Legitimacy Strategies at a Sportswear Brand Company (2015). Journal of Business Ethics, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2711440

Dorothée Baumann-Pauly

New York University, Center for Business and Human Rights ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

Andreas Georg Scherer (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - IBW Department of Business Administration ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland
+41 44-63 45302 (Phone)
+41 44-63 45301 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.uzh.ch/professorships/as.html

Guido Palazzo

University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015
Switzerland

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