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Organizational Legitimation in the Age of Governing by Numbers: The Case of Regulatory Partnerships on ESG Issues and Financial Decisions
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2014 (English)In: Globalizations, ISSN 1474-7731, E-ISSN 1474-774X, Vol. 11, no 3, 369-384 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article analyses the legitimation processes of two transnational regulatory partnerships-the Equator Principles (EP) and the Principles for Responsible Investments (PRI)-providing guidelines for global financial institutions to take societal responsibility in their financial decisions. By using the theoretical concept of organizational legitimation it is argued that partnerships seek legitimacy from their audiences by constructing their boundaries (identity), coordinating activities (hierarchy), and producing goals (rationality). The empirical analysis shows that the EP and the PRI follow classical strategies of organizational legitimation. They reflect the norm of being societally responsible and create an agency that can be accountable for conformity with standards on environmental, social, and governance issues. The article pinpoints, however, two dilemmas for the EP and the PRI that stem from the global trend of governing by numbers, resulting in an expectations gap between the signatories and external NGOs. Those dilemmas could instead lead to a delegitimation of the partnerships.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 11, no 3, 369-384 p.
Keyword [en]
responsible investment, regulatory partnerships, legitimacy, legitimation, accountability
National Category
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107820DOI: 10.1080/14747731.2014.898540ISI: 000341278400006OAI: diva2:752568


Available from: 2014-10-05 Created: 2014-09-29 Last updated: 2014-10-05Bibliographically approved

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