Managing impressions during institutional change – The role of organisational accounts in legitimation

Le, Jenny & Bartlett, Jennifer L. (2014) Managing impressions during institutional change – The role of organisational accounts in legitimation. Public Relations Inquiry, 3(3), pp. 341-360.

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Public relations literature has only recently drawn on institutional theory to provide insights into legitimacy that go beyond strategic organisational level processes. Many of the existing crisis management studies are approached from a strategic perspective, which have limitations in terms of how organizations manage their legitimacy in relation to broader and often changing social agendas. This study focuses on how impression management is used to deal with legitimacy gaps between organizations and public expectations that draw on an institutional theory perspective. This qualitative study examines the use of organizational accounts through a lens that marries institutional theory and impression management in order to understand how organizations manage their legitimacy. This study of accounts around legitimacy concerns of corporate social responsibility matters shows that organizations relied on their own tangible technical attributes rather than shared norms of what is considered responsible when there are no hard or institutionalised laws and regulations in place around corporate social responsibility concerns. This study offers insights into public relations concerns around impression management during institutional change and in doing so extends existing public relations approaches to crisis management.

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ID Code: 79126
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Climate Change, Corporate Social Responsibility, Crisis Communication, Impression Management, Institutional Theory
DOI: 10.1177/2046147X14540912
ISSN: 2046-147X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Deposited On: 02 Dec 2014 22:32
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2014 05:12

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