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Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 10, 1999

Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Meeting

Suzanne Beaulieu, Jean Pasquero
Pages 309-322
DOI: 10.5840/iabsproc19991029

Conceptualizing Legitimacy in a Professional Context

To date, the literature on governance has not paid much attention to professional legitimacy, and less still to how professional organizations attempt to preserve their legitimacy. Legitimacy is, however, a fundamental requirement for ensuring the survival of these organizations. Taking the case of two accounting professions in Quebec, which are currently going through a period of turbulence, this paper examines management issues related to their continued quest for legitimacy, which is closely related to their specific identity and roles. The theoretical background is based on five prevalent theories (institutionalism, negotiated order, stakeholders, impression management and closure). Legitimacy is defined here in three dimensions with its management dynamic vatying with three modes.

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