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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