The Business Legitimacy and Its Relationship with the Corporate Social Responsibility: Analysis of Mexico and Spain Through the Case Method

  • Evaristo Galeana Figueroa
  • Sandra Escamilla SolanoEmail author
  • Dora Aguilasocho Montoya
  • Paola Plaza Casado


The main objective of this research is to analyze the relationship between corporate social responsibility and social legitimacy. This is to fill the existing gap in the literature on legitimacy, in relation to the lack of empirical studies linking social responsibility with legitimacy. In order to analyze the relationships raised, we use an inductive methodology, for it will carry out a case study on the eight companies, three Mexican and five Spanish, included in the Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies for the period 2011–2012. The main finding that can be drawn is that it shows that there is a positive relationship between CSR and social legitimacy to business results. Also given the limited literature and research in Spanish companies, this study has demonstrated that Spanish companies also support these relationships, that is, both the social legitimacy as CSR can bring value to the results of the company. From a strategic point of view, managers might consider legitimacy within its strategic objectives. Managers must realize that not being able to manage legitimacy could involve the loss of it. It is no coincidence that companies with greater decreases of legitimacy are those with more internal and external problems. The main contribution of the study is to fill the gap in literature on legitimacy that relates to CSR as well as the lack of empirical studies in this field.


Legitimacy Corporate social responsibility Market value Spain Mexico Case method World’s most admired companies 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evaristo Galeana Figueroa
    • 1
  • Sandra Escamilla Solano
    • 2
    Email author
  • Dora Aguilasocho Montoya
    • 1
  • Paola Plaza Casado
    • 2
  1. 1.Facultad de Contaduría y Ciencias Administrativas, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de HidalgoMoreliaMexico
  2. 2.Department of Business EconomicsRey Juan Carlos UniversityMadridSpain

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