Legitimation Processes of environmental NGOs
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This case study examines the legitimation processes of two environmental NGOs in Norway. Building on an extensive discussion on the conceptualization of legitimacy, this embedded multi-case study assesses both passive and active legitimation processes. The study views legitimation as a process rather than as a property. This means that legitimacy is an interactive process of social construction which makes it highly dependent on an organization’s communication. The study is set out to examine, whether the selected NGOs engage in passive or active legitimation processes. Due to the legitimacy-perspective’s dependency on communication, existing sets of legitimation strategies are supplemented by various forms of theorization serving as rhetorical strategies. The study finds that the previous categorical distinction between passive and active legitimation is not mutual exclusive in certain contexts. Thus, the study concludes with the claim that passive and active legitimation processes can rather be interdependent. The study furthermore presents findings about the rhetorical strategies’ impact on legitimation processes.