Empirical Studies on Legitimation Strategies: A Case for International Business Research Extension

  • Romeo V. Turcan, Svetla Marinova, Mohammad Bakhtiar Rana
  • January 2012, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/s1571-5027(2012)0000025023

A systematic literature review of legitimation strategies

What is it about?

The paper focuses on legitimation and legitimation strategies applied by companies. Following the process of systematic review, we analyze empirical studies exploring legitimation and legitimation strategies from different theoretical perspectives. Using the key findings by reconnoitering and comparing the theoretical background, approaches, methodologies, and findings of these empirical studies, we outline potential directions for research in the legitimation strategies of firms engaged in international business operations.

Why is it important?

Given the level of maturity the international business field has reached over the years, it is somewhat surprising that the empirical research on legitimation has not formed a central line of enquiry in the international business research. In an attempt to address this gap, we have conducted a systematic review of empirical studies on legitimation and legitimation strategies that exist in diverse areas of studies and which have been developed from various theoretical perspectives. By exploring and comparing these studies’ theoretical lenses, methods and contributions, we have outlined potential new directions for research into legitimation that offer new avenues for research to international business scholars. It is our hope that this paper will encourage more empirical and theory-building research at the intersection between legitimation and international business.


Dr. Romeo V. Turcan
Aalborg Universitet

Legitimation is a concept that transcends space and time. However it has been less understood and unexplored in fields such international business, organizational and sector studies, especially when it comes to the creation and legitimation of new industries, new technologies and new forms of organizing.

Read Publication


The following have contributed to this page: Dr. Romeo V. Turcan