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  • Living reference work
  • © 2020

Handbook of Business Legitimacy

Responsibility, Ethics and Society

  • Provides a convenient reference work on the problem of legitimacy in relation to business and management ethics, following both historical and systematic modes of inquiry

  • Identifies major authors and schools and their contributions to scholarship on business legitimacy

  • Examines business legitimacy responses to the main challenges businesses and organizations face in the 21st century

  • Provides the only reference work of its kind in either its breadth or depth

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Table of contents (92 entries)

  1. Adam Smith and Business Legitimacy

    • Michael S. Aßländer
  2. Configurations of High Corporate Environmental Responsibility with Regard to Business Legitimacy: A Cross-National Approach

    • Marjo Siltaoja, Carolyn P. Egri, Olivier Furrer, Mika Haapanen, Ruth Alas, Knud Sinding

About this book

This Handbook forms part of  wider research in responsibility, ethics and legitimacy of corporations. Through an interdisciplinary perspective with comparative integration of sociological, politological, philosophical, theological, ethical, economic, legal, linguistic and communication theoretical approaches this Handbook will clarify how the interrelation between company and environment is mediated by legitimating notions in public spaces and public relations; how and why these notions have changed radically; how these transformations strike on the epistemological as well as practical dimension of business companies; and the problems involved in these transformations at the macro-, meso- and micro levels.

The Handbook begins with a historical introduction and chronology of the development of business legitimacy, providing a comprehensive assessment of the concept’s evolution and identifying the most influential authors and their works. These may be divided into authors who follow (1) a philosophical, sociological, or conceptual tradition in management and leadership in their treatment of legitimacy and those who belong to the research tradition of (2) application of the concept in management science and leadership as well as in organizational theory and business practice in the interdisciplinary perspective of the different approaches.

The Handbook continues with systematic approaches and major themes developed in the concept of business legitimacy. Contributions here may be conceptual, empirical/applied or case studies. The different parts of the volume deal with the different topics to which business legitimacy has been applied, with how legitimacy is relevant in the various operational areas of the firm, and with the legitimacy theory’s responses to some of the most important issues that businesses and organizations currently face.


  • Business Legitimacy
  • Corporate Social Responsibility CSR
  • Business ethics and global corporate citizenship
  • Virtue ethics
  • Neoliberal and republican business ethics
  • Business corporations and organizations
  • Business economics, accountability and business legitimacy
  • Accountability and transparency
  • Legal compliances and self-regulations
  • Social construction of institutions
  • Concepts of legitimacy

Editors and Affiliations

  • Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark

    Jacob Dahl Rendtorff

About the editor

Jacob Dahl Rendtorff, ph.d and dr. scient. adm. is Senior Associate Professor at Roskilde University, Denmark. Rendtorff has a background in research in ethics, business ethics, bioethics, political theory and philosophy of law. He has also been doing research in phenomenology and hermeneutics, continental French and German philosophy. Since 1994 Rendtorff has been visiting professor at Bentley College, Boston, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University and Stanford University (2001), Bard College, New York 2011, the University of Paris-Ouest-La defense (2012), and Copenhagen Business School (from 2013). Rendtorff has written many books and articles, i.e. Responsibility, ethics and legitimacy of corporations, Copenhagen Business School Press, Copenhagen 2009

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Handbook of Business Legitimacy

  • Book Subtitle: Responsibility, Ethics and Society

  • Editors: Jacob Dahl Rendtorff

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Religion and Philosophy, Reference Module Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Topics: Business Ethics, Business Ethics, International Business, Management, IT in Business