Legitimation, Words, Organizational Politics: An Introduction to the Missing Links
This book is on organizational legitimacy. However, this is primarily a book on words. More precisely it is a book on those words organizations use to state their legitimacy. The tie between legitimacy and words appears to me as a very tight one. Although it is not a merely a symbolic or rhetorical feature, it looks clear that legitimacy is more in the words than in the eye of the beholder. Organizational legitimacy is affirmed and displayed by words: the words of the corporate communication strategy, the words of corporate advertising, the words of the top management interviews by the popular press journalists, the words of case studies in business education programs. Looking at organizational legitimacy from this perspective, two main questions arise: 1) where does legitimation come from and 2) where do words of legitimation come from? These questions also outline the two concurrent frames I adopt in this book. I address the first question by referring to the Social Sciences theoretical frameworks, from Sociology to Political Science and Law. As to the second question, the narrative perspective that combines linguistic approaches and post-modern interpretative strategies is of help.
KeywordsMission Statement Organization Theory Organizational Legitimacy Alternative Narrative Narrative Perspective
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