The issue of organizational legitimacy is increasingly gaining the attention of researchers and managers. While legitimacy can be described in a number of ways, defined by the harder social sciences it has usually been considered a static, one-dimensional characteristic. As a result, previous studies have often failed to explore organization's operational strategies for gaining wide social legitimacy.
The goal of Claim, Intent, and Persuasion: Organizational Legitimacy and the Rhetoric of Corporate Mission Statements is to explore how organizations enact strategies to gain legitimacy. The book employs a pluralistic definition of legitimacy that draw its concepts from the fields of organizational theory, sociology, political science and law. The dynamics of the legitimation process are explored through a study of corporate mission statements analyzed from a semiotic perspective. The book argues that various interpretations of the legitimation process can coexist through differing narrative strategies that offer corporations alternate ways to present themselves internally and externally. By setting up a multi-faceted theory of organizational legitimacy, supported by an empirical study of corporation mission statements, this book offers a new, more integrated interpretation of the legitimation process that seeks to advance the dialogue regarding the political and institution views of organizations.