Social License to Operate: Legitimacy by Another Name?

Canadian Public Administration, Forthcoming

University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2017-904

25 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2017 Last revised: 17 Jun 2017

See all articles by Joel Gehman

Joel Gehman

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Lianne Lefsrud

University of Alberta - Faculty of Engineering

Stewart Fast

Queen's University

Date Written: June 16, 2017

Abstract

Social license to operate is an increasingly used but seldom defined concept. In this article, we draw from academic, popular, and industry literature to identify and synthesize three models of social license to operate. Building on our review, we investigate the linkages between social license to operate and legitimacy and consider how the two concepts differ from and interrelate with one another. Then, we review the various methods that have been used to measure social license to operate. We conclude by discussing the implications for stakeholder engagement, evolving models of regulation, and potential avenues for future research.

Keywords: Social License to Operate, Legitimacy, Energy, Public Administration

JEL Classification: Q48, M14, Q20, Q30

Suggested Citation

Gehman, Joel and Lefsrud, Lianne and Fast, Stewart, Social License to Operate: Legitimacy by Another Name? (June 16, 2017). Canadian Public Administration, Forthcoming, University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2017-904, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2958532

Joel Gehman (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada
(780) 248-5855 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.joelgehman.com

Lianne Lefsrud

University of Alberta - Faculty of Engineering ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R3
Canada

Stewart Fast

Queen's University ( email )

Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
Canada

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