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Book part
Publication date: 14 November 2003

Morris Zelditch and Henry A Walker

A centuries-long history of theory and research shows that every authority system tries to cultivate a belief in its legitimacy. This paper focuses on the legitimation of…

Abstract

A centuries-long history of theory and research shows that every authority system tries to cultivate a belief in its legitimacy. This paper focuses on the legitimation of regimes – social relationships and the rules that govern them. We use existing theory and research to identify a basic legitimation assumption that includes four conditions necessary to establish legitimacy. We also identify four corollaries of the assumption and use our own published and unpublished laboratory research to show (1) how successful experimental procedures satisfy the assumption’s conditions, and (2) how the failure of experimental procedures to establish legitimacy violate the assumption and its corollaries.

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Power and Status
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-030-2

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Book part
Publication date: 27 April 2004

Cathryn Johnson

Before addressing these three issues, I provide some background on the key theoretical approaches to legitimacy employed in this volume: two legitimacy theories in social…

Abstract

Before addressing these three issues, I provide some background on the key theoretical approaches to legitimacy employed in this volume: two legitimacy theories in social psychology and institutional theory in organizational analysis. Virtually every contributor draws upon at least one of these theories; several authors draw upon two of these theories, offering a way to bridge them and/or apply them to a substantive concern.

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Legitimacy Processes in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-008-1

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2013

Morris Zelditch

This chapter reviews 30 years of Advances in Group Processes. Its primary purpose is to study the part the series has played in the advances in the study of group…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter reviews 30 years of Advances in Group Processes. Its primary purpose is to study the part the series has played in the advances in the study of group processes that have taken place between 1984 and 2014.

Design/methodology/approach

This chapter places the 30 years of Advances in Group Processes in the context of the changes that took place between small groups research in the 1950s and group processes research in the 1980s and beyond.

Findings

Analyzing the policies of Advances in Group Processes and its contents, this chapter reflects on its role in the advances in group processes that have taken place since the 1980s. Between 1950 and 1980, small group research reinvented, reconceptualized, and reinvigorated itself as group process research. Between the two periods, small group research, its applied research, and its research programs became increasingly theory-driven and its concept of the group and its levels increasingly analytic. As a consequence of these changes, the concept of the field itself became increasingly analytic. The changes between the two periods in its theory, research, application, programs, and in its concept of the group and the way the field was conceptualized led to marked advances in group process research in the 90s and beyond – to more theory, more impact of it on application, and more, and more cumulative, growth of it. Advances in Group Processes was at once a reflection of the changes that took place between the two periods and a driving force in the advances in group processes research that have taken place ever since.

Originality/value

Advances in Group Processes is a fundamental resource for the development of theory and research on small groups and group processes. This chapter provides an overview of its contributions and places them in the context of the development of the field as a whole.

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Book part
Publication date: 17 November 2011

Morris Zelditch

Constructing a theory of the legitimacy of groups, especially groups that mobilize the resources of their own members and provide pure or impure public goods such as…

Abstract

Constructing a theory of the legitimacy of groups, especially groups that mobilize the resources of their own members and provide pure or impure public goods such as collective action, raises some questions not encountered by theories of the legitimacy of acts, persons, or positions. Among these are: First, groups are typically nested in other groups. Groups nested in other groups may differ from each other both in their situations of action and in the larger social framework of norms, values, beliefs, practices, and procedures that guide action in them; or, in other words, in the two chief sources of their legitimacy. Does this pose a problem for the legitimacy of groups? If it does, with what consequences and under what conditions? Second, groups that mobilize the resources of their members for the purpose of providing them with pure or impure public goods have problems of both agency and collective action. Problems of agency and collective action make compliance with the claims made by the group on the resources of its members problematic. Even those willing to comply with them may be deterred by fear of the opportunism of others. Under what conditions do those who would be willing to comply were it not for fear of opportunism by others actually comply? Third, legitimacy is in some sense a resource. It is a characteristic instrumental to the mobilization of resources by a group. But is it a resource like any other? Absent land, labor, capital, technology or organization, does it matter how much legitimacy a group has? If not, what is the relation between legitimacy and resources?

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Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-774-2

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Morris Zelditch

The primary purpose of this chapter is to assess the effects of twenty-five years of the Group Processes Conference on advances in the study of group processes that have…

Abstract

Purpose

The primary purpose of this chapter is to assess the effects of twenty-five years of the Group Processes Conference on advances in the study of group processes that have taken place between 1988 and 2014.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This chapter places the twenty-five years of the Group Processes Conference in the context of the changes that have taken place between small groups research in the 1950s and group processes research in the 1980s and beyond.

Findings

Between the 1950s and 1980s small groups research reinvented, reconceptualized, and reinvigorated itself as group processes research. In this period, small groups research, its applied research, and its research programs became increasingly theory-driven, and its concept of the group and its levels increasingly abstract, general, and analytic. As a consequence of these changes, the concept of the field itself became increasingly analytic. The Group Processes Conference was at once a reflection of these changes and a driving force in the subsequent advances in group processes research. It both quickened and amplified the effects of individual-level factors and of thirty years of Advances in Group Processes on the transformation of the field and was also, like Advances in Group Processes, a driving force in the subsequent advances in group processes research. The present chapter concludes with an analysis of the mechanisms of the effects of the Group Processes Conference on group processes research.

Originality/Value

The program for the twenty-fifth year of the Group Processes Conference celebrates its effects on the field of group processes research.

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Book part
Publication date: 27 April 2004

Morris Zelditch

Three theories of legitimacy – Dornbusch and Scott’s “Evaluation and the Exercise of authority” (EEA), Walker and Zelditch’s “Legitimacy and the Stability of Authority”…

Abstract

Three theories of legitimacy – Dornbusch and Scott’s “Evaluation and the Exercise of authority” (EEA), Walker and Zelditch’s “Legitimacy and the Stability of Authority” (LSA), and Meyer and Rowan’s “Institutonalized Organizations” (IO) – are integrated into a single consistent theory interrelating the internal and external legitimacy processes of organizations. One consequence of IO, the decoupling of sanctions, evaluations, and performance, contradicts EEA and LSA. The contradiction is addressed by aligning the scope of the three theories, which proves to be the source of the contradiction, accommodating their principles to the change in their scope. Translating their terms into a single, consistent language, auxiliary principles are formulated that interrelate their legitimacy processes and conditionalize pressures for evaluation and control and therefore the decoupling of sanctions, evaluations, and performance – the conditions depending on type of environment, extent of dependence on it, and its organization. Integration does not alter the basic principles of EEA or IO but does correct LSA’s over-estimation of the stability of authority and provides IO with a mechanism by which and refines the conditions under which sanctions, evaluations, and performance come to be decoupled.

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Legitimacy Processes in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-008-1

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Book part
Publication date: 6 June 2006

Jeffrey W. Lucas and Michael J. Lovaglia

The processes of legitimation and institutionalization are difficult to study because they are hard to measure. Instead, theories of legitimacy use its elements to explain…

Abstract

The processes of legitimation and institutionalization are difficult to study because they are hard to measure. Instead, theories of legitimacy use its elements to explain various effects. We propose that these effects are due to the trust-building aspects of legitimation and institutionalization. If research can establish the trust-building nature of legitimation, then theoretical research programs in the area may progress more rapidly. Research on leadership in groups can be used to assess fundamental questions of legitimacy and trust because group leadership represents an interface between research on organizations and basic group processes. We describe an experimental setting to investigate legitimation, institutionalization, and trust.

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Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-330-3

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Book part
Publication date: 31 July 2000

Morris Zelditch and Henry A. Walker

In most theories of authority, normative regulation is the price that power pays for legitimacy. But what are the mechanisms by which norms regulate power and under what…

Abstract

In most theories of authority, normative regulation is the price that power pays for legitimacy. But what are the mechanisms by which norms regulate power and under what conditions do they in fact constrain its use? In an experimental study of a three-level hierarchy of power and authority, we found that the internal constraint of conscience alone was not sufficient to constrain the abuse of power by authority: Where authority had something to gain, one in four Ss abused power out of self-interest; where it had nothing to gain, one in three followed their own conscience rather than the situation's norms.But internal constraints are not the only constraints on the exercise of power by authority. The mechanisms of the normative regulation of power depend on the fact that the exercise of authority, at least in organizations, is a collective phenomenon. It is not simply a matter of a superior, A, exercising authority over a subordinate, B, but of multiple actors executing the directives of A in such a way that the behavior of B is in fact directed. The normative regulation of power depends on how norms regulate these other agents of power and how dependence on these other agents, in turn, controls the behavior of A.

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Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-651-0

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2013

Abstract

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Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-976-8

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Book part
Publication date: 27 April 2004

Abstract

Details

Legitimacy Processes in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-008-1

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