Legitimacy Needs as Drivers of Business Exit

Decker, Carolin (2008). Legitimacy Needs as Drivers of Business Exit. Gabler Verlag / DUV.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-8349-9759-3


A diversified firm’s withdrawal from a business unit, i.e. business exit, is a significant phenomenon in management practice. Although divestitures are highly relevant in practice, the acquisition of business units attracts much more attention in strategic management research.
Carolin Decker develops and empirically applies a framework in which business exits serve the purpose of re-establishing a firm’s previously harmed legitimacy. She suggests four types of legitimacy needs that are to be satisfied with the divestiture of a business unit and the simultaneous pursuit of strategic reorientation. The author tests the theoretical framework with secondary data on 213 business exits. Her findings support the idea that legitimacy needs drive the likelihood of fit-enhancing business exits in divesting firms.

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