The Two Faces of Janus A Mixed-Method Study of Legitimacy Struggles

Siraz, Sonia; Claes, Björn and De Castro, Julio (2019). The Two Faces of Janus A Mixed-Method Study of Legitimacy Struggles. In: Academy of Management Proceedings, Academy of Management, 2019(1).


In this paper, we examine how controversial organizations manage their legitimacy. We first investigate what type of legitimation strategies such organizations take to enhance their legitimacy in the eyes of evaluators. Second, we examine how evaluators perceive the appropriateness of these strategies. In addition, we also shed light on the moderating effects of environmental values and media skepticism on the relationship between legitimation strategies and their perceived appropriateness by evaluators. We utilize a mixed method study. It comprises a series of interviews with actors in the French Foie Gras industry in order to determine which strategies they take. Drawing from the qualitative findings, we use conjoint experiments to investigate the relative weights of five distinct legitimation strategies on their perceived appropriateness and the moderating effects of media skepticism and environmental values based on 922 decisions.

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