Legitimacy in Co-creating Governance Networks

Andreas Hagedorn Krogh, Jacob Torfing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


The rise of governance networks through which public and private actors co-create public value outcomes has two important consequences for the legitimacy of private businesses. On the one hand, private companies participating in governance networks and public value co-creation get to influence political and administrative decisions in legitimate way. On the other hand, participation in public value co-creation means that private businesses are increasingly expected to legitimize their own, interest-based actions in relation to society’s collective goals in order to gain access to governance networks and public–private collaboration. This chapter charts the development of new forms of interactive governance and presents an overview of the forms of networked governance in which private companies typically participate. It addresses the question of legitimacy at the levels of the network and the individual company, respectively, and discusses some of the strategies for constructing and managing the internal and external legitimacy of network actors. Finally, it is sketching out some future research avenues that may deepen our understanding of the legitimacy of private business participation in public governance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Business Legitimacy : Responsibility, Ethics and Society
EditorsJacob Dahl Rendtorff
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationCham
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-14621-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-14622-1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Public-private partnerships
  • Network governance
  • Metagovernance
  • Co-creation
  • Legitimacy

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