Outlining a strategic legitimacy assessment method: the case of the Illinois livestock industry
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The case and importance for managers and stakeholders to understand organizational legitimacy is very clear. A gap though exists, in both theory and application, as to how managers and community stakeholders proceed when they seek to understand and affect the legitimacy state of a firm or an industry. This article addresses this problem. Using public hearing transcripts we analyze over 7,000 lines of text to build a database of 589 statements regarding the legitimacy/illegitimacy of large confined animal operations. These data reflect the perspectives of 77 stakeholders, and cover 21 legitimacy themes, four legitimacy bases, and 13 authoritative references. The article presents, and then applies, a four-part method for legitimacy state assessment that integrates theory on legitimacy themes and bases, stakeholders, and authoritative references.
KeywordsLegitimacy Livestock Inductive research Stakeholder theory
Confined animal feeding operation
Illinois Department of Agriculture
Livestock Management Facilities Act
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