Browsing by Subject "legitimation"

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  • Vaara, Eero; Monin, Philippe (Organizational Science, pp. 1–20, 2008)
    This paper challenges the predominant view that legitimation is merely a specific phase in merger or acquisition processes. We argue that a better understanding of postmerger organizational dynamics calls for conceptualization of discursive legitimation as an inherent part of unfolding merger processes. In particular, we focus on the recursive relationship between legitimation and organizational action. We have two objectives: to outline a theoretical model that helps one to understand the dynamics of discursive legitimation and organizational action in postmerger organizations, and to examine a revealing case to distinguish the inherent risks and problems in discursive legitimation. Our case analysis focuses on the merger between the French pharmaceutical companies BioMérieux and Pierre Fabre. We adopt a critical multimethod approach and distinguish specific discursive dynamics and pathological tendencies in this case. The analysis highlights the unintended consequences of discursive legitimation, the central role of sensegiving and sensehiding in discursive legitimation, the inherently political nature of legitimation and the risks associated with politicization, the special problems associated with fashionable discourses and the role of the media, the use of specific discursive strategies for legitimation and delegitimation, and the crucial role of actual integration results. This analysis adds to the existing research on mergers and acquisitions by treating discursive legitimation as part of the merger dynamics. In particular, our case analysis provides a new explanation for merger failure. We also believe that the recursive model connecting discursive legitimation and delegitimation strategies to concrete organizational action makes a more general contribution to our understanding of organizational legitimation.
  • Vaara, Eero; Monin, Philippe (Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences, 2010)
    This paper challenges the predominant view that legitimation is merely a specific phase in merger or acquisition processes. We argue that a better understanding of postmerger organizational dynamics calls for conceptualization of discursive legitimation as an inherent part of unfolding merger processes. In particular, we focus on the recursive relationship between legitimation and organizational action. We have two objectives: to outline a theoretical model that helps one to understand the dynamics of discursive legitimation and organizational action in postmerger organizations, and to examine a revealing case to distinguish the inherent risks and problems in discursive legitimation. Our case analysis focuses on the merger between the French pharmaceutical companies BioMérieux and Pierre Fabre. We adopt a critical multimethod approach and distinguish specific discursive dynamics and pathological tendencies in this case. The analysis highlights the unintended consequences of discursive legitimation, the central role of sensegiving and sensehiding in discursive legitimation, the inherently political nature of legitimation and the risks associated with politicization, the special problems associated with fashionable discourses and the role of the media, the use of specific discursive strategies for legitimation and delegitimation, and the crucial role of actual integration results. This analysis adds to the existing research on mergers and acquisitions by treating discursive legitimation as part of the merger dynamics. In particular, our case analysis provides a new explanation for merger failure. We also believe that the recursive model connecting discursive legitimation and delegitimation strategies to concrete organizational action makes a more general contribution to our understanding of organizational legitimation.
  • Koveshnikov, Alexei (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014)
    Economics and Society – 278
    Multinational corporations (MNC) are often presented as powerful but ‘faceless’ institutional actors that shape the world we live in. However, we have lately seen increasing interest in actual ‘faces,’ that is the key actors, behind the MNC’s functioning in relation to the cases of fraud and bankruptcy that, together with other factors, led to the severe financial crisis at the end of 2000s. The cases of Enron and Lehman Brothers easily come to mind. It raised concerns that power abuses and tricky political games developing and proliferating within MNCs can have tremendous corporate as well as societal impacts and consequences. Yet, as of now, the micro-level power and political relations between actors in MNCs and their implications, i.e. what I call in this thesis ‘micro-politics,’ are seldom examined. Moreover, neither is the role that the institutional, cultural and sociopolitical contexts play in these micro-political relations among actors within MNCs sufficiently understood. Against this background, in this thesis I attempt to give ‘a face’ to the MNC. That is, I apply a number of ideas from comparative institutional theory, social cognition and translation studies to examine micro-political aspects of the interactions between organizational actors in MNCs that determine how these corporations function both on day to day basis and in a longer run. By so doing, I strive to offer a more nuanced, contextualized, and actor-focused sociological understanding of power and political interactions among organizational actors within the MNC. It is important to study and comprehend these processes in order to better explain them and to some extent control them.
  • Kulonen, Minna (1999)
    The thesis focuses on the sociopolitical value promotion by the multinational corporations, which according to the recent research has increased during 1990's. The phenomena is analysed with the help of the concept of 'moral markets', which refers to the continual flux of the contemporary moral values. The moral values are created and enhanced by the actors at the moral markets. The study is the so called pilot study on the phenomena, which has just begun to develop and of which there exists only minimal previous research. The aim of the thesis is to systematically analyse the value promotion of the corporations and the actors and elements related to the phenomena. The system theory, which emphasises the relationship between the organisation and the external environment, is used as a contextual theory. It has been used as a basis in order to form more specific model on the functions of 'the moral markets' and the power hierarchy behind it. The theory of legitimation of power by David Beetham forms the main theory of the study. The thesis is a case study, in which is used both quantitative content analysis and qualitative text analysis. The case corporations are Shell, Nestlé, McDonald's and Nike, which have been and still are on the boycott. The quantitative analysis pointed out that the promotion of values was both relatively extensive and intensive in three of the four case corporations. Also the so called boycott values were in a central position in three of the four cases, which may seem to indicate that boycotts are one essential reason for the value promotion of the case corporations. From the results of the quantitative analysis there was formed the following value promotion profiles: boycott-centric activity (Shell and Nike), 2) symbolic surplus value -centric activity (McDonald's) and 3) boycott-centric passivity (Nestlé). According to the analysis it seems to be that both Shell and Nike are actively involved in the value creation at the moral markets. Also McDonald's seems to participate in the functions of the moral markets. However, in the case of McDonald's the symbolic surplus values and core values seem to be used to direct the attention away from the actual boycotts and its consequences. In the case of Nestlé the corporation is more passive and defensive when regarding the value promotion. Also the legitimation of the corporation is mainly practised by the means of reactive form of control as the legislation and government intervention. The most important sources of the study are the web sites of the case corporations. The other sources of the study are both socio-scientific and economical reviews, journals and books. The material has been achieved also through the Internet.
  • Breit, Eric (Hanken School of Economics, 2011)
    Economics and Society - 227
    While extant studies have greatly advanced our understanding of corruption, we still know little of the processes through which specific practices or events come to be labeled as corruption. In a time when public attention devoted to corruption and other forms of corporate misbehavior has exploded, this thesis raises – and seeks to answer – crucial questions related to how the phenomenon is socially and discursively constructed. What kinds of struggles are manifested in public disputes about corruption? How do constructions of corruption relate with broader conceptions of (il)legitimacy in and around organizations? What are the discursive dynamics involved in the emergence and evolution of corruption scandals? The thesis consists of four essays that each employ different research designs and tackle these questions in slightly different theoretical and methodological ways. The empirical focus is on the media coverage of a number of significant and widely discussed scandals in Norway in the period 2003-2008. By illuminating crucial processes through which conceptions of corruption were constructed, reproduced, and transformed in these scandals, the thesis seeks to paint a more nuanced picture of corruption than what is currently offered in the literature. In particular, the thesis challenges traditional conceptions of corruption as a dysfunctional feature of organizations in and of itself by emphasizing the ambiguous, temporal, context-specific, and at times even contradictory features of corruption in public discussions.
  • Vaara, Eero; Tienari, Janne; Laurila, Juha (Organization Studies 27(6): 789–810, 2007)
    Despite the central role of legitimacy in social and organizational life, we know little of the subtle meaning-making processes through which organizational phenomena, such as industrial restructuring, are legitimated in contemporary society. Therefore, this paper examines the discursive legitimation strategies used when making sense of global industrial restructuring in the media. Based on a critical discourse analysis of extensive media coverage of a revolutionary pulp and paper sector merger, we distinguish and analyze five legitimation strategies: (1) normalization, (2) authorization, (3) rationalization, (4) moralization, and (5) narrativization. We argue that while these specific legitimation strategies appear in individual texts, their recurring use in the intertextual totality of the public discussion establishes the core elements of the emerging legitimating discourse.
  • Erkama, Niina; Vaara, Eero (Organizational Studies, forthcoming, 2009/2010, 2009)
    Critical organization scholars have focused increasing attention on industrial and organizational restructurings such as shutdown decisions. However, we know little about the rhetorical strategies used to legitimate or resist plant closures in organizational negotiations. In this paper, we draw from New Rhetoric to analyze rhetorical struggles, strategies and dynamics in unfolding organizational negotiations. We focus on the shutdown of the bus body unit of the Swedish company Volvo in Finland. We distinguish five types of rhetorical legitimation strategies and dynamics. These include the three classical dynamics of logos (rational arguments), pathos (emotional moral arguments), and ethos (authority-based arguments), but also autopoiesis (autopoietic narratives), and cosmos (cosmological constructions). Our analysis adds to the previous studies explaining how organizational restructuring as a phenomenon is legitimated, how this legitimation has changed over time, and how contemporary industrial closures are legitimated in the media. This study also increases our theoretical understanding of the role of rhetoric in legitimation more generally.
  • Erkama, Niina; Vaara, Eero (Organization Studies, 2009)
    Critical organization scholars have focused increasing attention on industrial and organizational restructurings such as shutdown decisions. However, little is known about the rhetorical strategies used to legitimate or resist plant closures in organizational negotiations. In this article, we draw from New Rhetoric to analyze rhetorical struggles, strategies and dynamics in unfolding organizational negotiations. We focus on the shutdown of the bus body unit of the Sweden-based Volvo Bus Corporation in Finland. We distinguish five types of rhetorical legitimation strategies and dynamics. These include the three classical dynamics of logos (rational arguments), pathos (emotional moral arguments), and ethos (authority-based arguments), but also autopoiesis (autopoietic narratives), and cosmos (cosmological constructions). Our analysis contributes to previous studies on organizational restructuring by providing a more nuanced understanding of how contemporary industrial closures are legitimated and resisted in organizational negotiations. This study also increases theoretical understanding of the role of rhetoric in legitimation more generally.
  • Bodström, Erna (2020)
    This article argues that authorisation and moral evaluation are the dominant legitimation strategies used in asylum decisions by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri). After the migration events of 2015, the percentage of accepted asylum claims dropped dramatically in Finland, causing concern about the legal rights of asylum seekers. Drawing on theoretical literature concerning asylum decisions, borders and language, this article is based on a systematic analysis of 77 asylum decisions. It aims to answer the following questions: What strategies of legitimation does Migri use to support their negative asylum decisions? How are these strategies used? The study reports that the reasons behind negative asylum decisions are often not openly provided. Instead, the decisions largely rely on authorisation and implicit moral evaluation; the decision is so ‘because Migri says so’. This lack of transparency has adverse consequences for the due process of asylum seekers, and these consequences can be life changing.