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Managing legitimacy issues in global supply chains: the case of the athletic footwear industry

André Nijhof (Associate Professor at the Nyenrode Business University, Breukelen, The Netherlands)
Dai Forterre (ASICS Europe, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Ronald Jeurissen (Professor of Business Ethics at Nyenrode Business University, Breukelen, The Netherlands.)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Article publication date: 9 August 2008



This paper aims to explore new forms of control that can address the legitimacy problems of globally‐integrated enterprises.


In a conceptual analysis the characteristics of the globally‐integrated enterprise are used to put forward apt strategies of control. These proposals are examined and illustrated in a case study of the strategies in use in the athletic footwear industry.


This paper argues that command‐and‐control strategies will be ineffective for globally‐integrated enterprises. In order to behave like a global corporate citizen companies need to stress controls based on belief systems and interactive systems. Certain features of this shift in control are visible within the athletic footwear industry although many strategies in use are still based on thinking like a multinational.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is explorative in nature. More empirical research is needed to test the proposals this paper puts forward.

Practical implications

The results of this paper can be used as a framework to develop control strategies for companies working from a transnational perspective.


The functioning of globally‐integrated enterprises creates both tremendous economic possibilities as well as new problems of legitimacy. This paper is one of the first systematic attempts to provide a framework for dealing with these legitimacy problems and also serves as an illustration of this framework in the athletic footwear sector.



Nijhof, A., Forterre, D. and Jeurissen, R. (2008), "Managing legitimacy issues in global supply chains: the case of the athletic footwear industry", Corporate Governance, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 506-517.



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