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The Concept of Business Legitimacy: Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Governance as Essential Elements of Ethical Business Legitimacy

Part of the Approaches to Global Sustainability, Markets, and Governance book series (AGSMG)

Abstract

This chapter discusses corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, and corporate citizenship in relation to business legitimacy as a basic concept in the philosophy of management. Corporations must take into the consideration of legitimacy to be able to exist and prosper in a society: legitimacy is a precondition of business license to operate in society, and of the supply of necessary resources—ranging from investments, committed employees, business partners, and sales/consumption, to political support and support from an increasing range of diverse stakeholders. However, the interrelation between business and the rest of society changes with the evolution of society and mediates by changing legitimacy processes. Today, businesses’ ethical, social, and societal responsibility moves towards broader value orientations expressed in business ethics and the triple bottom-line, which balances social, environmental, and economic considerations and in societal commitment, where businesses assume tasks that were previously reserved for the state. Business legitimacy follows fluid, ambiguous norms so that ethics, communicative competences, and practices are a fundamental precondition for navigating in a society that grows increasingly dynamic and diverse. Indeed, the contents as well as the rationality of legitimacy and the types of legitimacy conflicts have changed and this is an important challenge for developing sustainability in the intersection between corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship, and corporate governance.

Keywords

  • Legitimacy
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Business ethics
  • Institutional theory
  • Management philosophy

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Fig. 1

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Correspondence to Jacob Dahl Rendtorff .

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Rendtorff, J.D. (2019). The Concept of Business Legitimacy: Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Governance as Essential Elements of Ethical Business Legitimacy. In: Crowther, D., Seifi, S., Wond, T. (eds) Responsibility and Governance. Approaches to Global Sustainability, Markets, and Governance. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-1047-8_4

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