Legitimacy Maintenance After a Corporate SocialIrresponsibility Scandal: Lessons From The Parmalat Case

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Abstract

From the organizations’ perspective, maintaining legitimacy in such contexts has been consideredrelatively unproblematic (Patriotta, 2011; Scherer et al., 2013) as it entails following adaptivestrategies and conforming substantially (or even merely symbolically) to the dominant institutionallogics (Suchman, 1995; Elsbach, 1994; Scherer et al., 2013).3Nonetheless, whilst the implementation of a adaptive strategy to maintain the corporation with itsmain audiences is a necessary phase, it cannot be considered sufficient to assure the maintenance ofaudience support. Audiences evaluate competitive advantage and other sources of reassurance thatsupporting the company is worthwhile from a rational perspective. This restoration process may becomplemented by the corporations’ power over resource dependent audiences. Independentaudience decisions are based on the competitive advantage of firm in each business. When their areuntouched, the adaptive strategy leads to audience support and successful business rehabilitationprocesses with all audiences, even with those that were initially harmed. However, if competitiveadvantage is feeble independent audiences will not sustain the weak business (or corporation) evenif adaptive strategies have been implemented. The presence of an unharmed competitive strategy iscrucial to the selection of which parts of an organization (or the organization as a whole) can bereintegrated with all the main audiences of the company after a CSI scandal, including the“harmed” audience.The richness of the empirical setting allows us to highlight that a significant differencebetween firm characteristics that plays a crucial role in determining the reactions of the mainconstituent audiences and, consequently, the possibility for maintain the legitimacy. The post-crisisturnaround processes to succeed is the possession of sound source(s) of competitive advantage inone (or more) of the business(es) in which the firms operates.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine5
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2014

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