The Concept of Business Legitimacy: Learnings from Suchman: Integrating Sociological, Ethical and Critical Perspectives

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This chapter discusses the development of the concept of business legitimacy from the work of Mark C. Suchman and beyond. This is based on research on corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship, and corporate governance as essential elements of ethical business legitimacy. In this context, the concept of business legitimacy is presented in the perspective of critical theory. Even though the chapter begins with institutional theory, it also integrates institutional theory into the general normative discussions of critical hermeneutics of business ethics and corporate social responsibility. With this, the concept of business legitimacy aims at combining the sociological and constructivist approach from institutional theory with the normative and ethical approach from business ethics and political CSR.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Business Legitimacy : Responsibility, Ethics and Society
EditorsJacob Dahl Rendtorff
Number of pages29
Place of PublicationCham
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-14621-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-14622-1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Business Ethics
  • Business legitimacy research
  • Corporate citizenship
  • Institutional responsibility
  • Public Relations

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