Legitimacy Revisited: Disentangling Propriety, Validity, and Consensus
MetadataShow full item record
CitationHaack, P., Schilke, O., & Zucker, L. (2020). Legitimacy Revisited: Disentangling Propriety, Validity, and Consensus. Journal of Management Studies.
JournalJOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT STUDIES
RightsCopyright © 2020 Society for the Advancement of Management Studies and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractRecent research has conceptualized legitimacy as a multi-level phenomenon comprising propriety and validity. Propriety refers to an individual evaluator's belief that a legitimacy object is appropriate for its social context, whereas validity denotes an institutionalized, collective-level perception of appropriateness. In this article, we refine this multi-level understanding of legitimacy by adding a third, meso-level construct of 'consensus', which we define as the agreement between evaluators' propriety beliefs. Importantly, validity and consensus are distinct and can be incongruent, given that an institutionalized perception can hide underlying disagreement. Disentangling validity from consensus is a crucial extension of the multi-level theory of legitimacy, because it enables an improved understanding of the legitimacy processes that precede sudden and unanticipated institutional change. In particular, while previous works considered revised propriety beliefs as the starting point for institutional change, our account emphasizes that the disclosure of the actual (vs. merely assumed) belief distribution within a social context may instigate institutional change. To study the interplay of propriety, validity, and consensus empirically, we propose a set of experimental designs specifically geared towards improving knowledge of the role of legitimacy and its components in institutional change.
Note12 month embargo; first published: 20 July 2020
VersionFinal accepted manuscript