Session 43

Legitimacy, Language and Stakeholders: Do We Belong Here?

Track D

Date: Sunday, December 7, 2014


Time: 13:30 – 14:45


Room: Essex I

Session Chair:

  • Daphne Yiu, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Title: Communication Accommodation and Organizational Legitimacy of Former Colonial Firms in the Sovereign Country


  • William Wan, City University of Hong Kong
  • Daphne Yiu, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Abstract: Attaining organizational legitimacy in a host environment can mitigate the liability of foreignness. Research has examined many factors that affect legitimacy; however, the role of language has remained unexplored. Corporate language reflects the language environment in a firm’s home environment, but its use may converge/diverge with a host environment’s language. We view corporate language as an important component in determining a firm’s legitimacy in a host environment. In this light, our paper examines the influence of language convergence on former colonial firms’ legitimacy in the sovereign country. We premise our core arguments on communication accommodation theory in sociolinguistics. In addition, we posit that organizational identity affects a firm’s likelihood of accommodating its language, and organizational image influences the relationship between communication accommodation and organizational legitimacy.

Title: Firm and NGO Language in the Discourse about Environmental Supply Chain Responsibility in China


  • Susannah M. Davis, University of Nottingham Ningbo China
  • Dirk C. Moosmayer, University of Nottingham - China
  • Shameen Prashantham, China Europe International Business School

Abstract: We investigate the negotiation process over environmental responsibilities in Apple’s global supply chain between a Chinese group of environmental NGOs and the world’s most valuable brand. We apply a vocabulary structure approach to understanding developing norms of environmental supply chain responsibility. We analyze the vocabularies of the organizations to better understand their underlying institutional logics, finding evidence of differing interpretations of key concepts related to environmental supply chain responsibility. We demonstrate the value of linguistic approaches to understanding how norms and practices of environmental supply chain responsibility are developing in the Chinese context, and how civil society actors and corporations are contributing to their construction. Our study has implications for MNCs supply chain strategies as well as for NGOs.

Title: Strategies to Accumulate Legitimacy in International Joint Ventures: CSR or Political Ties


  • Xuan Bai, City University of Hong Kong
  • Jeanine Chang, City University of Hong Kong
  • Julie Li, City University of Hong Kong

Abstract: The impact of legitimacy on firm survival has been well articulated in international business literature. Yet operationalization of legitimacy has not been attempted, and empirical study evidencing the antecedents and effects of legitimacy is scarce. This study examines how IJVs overcome the legitimacy-related challenges after IJVs’ formation in China. We explore the effect of two non-market strategies, namely corporate social responsibility (CSR) and political ties, on IJVs’ legitimacy accumulation (political legitimacy and market legitimacy), and examine which non-market strategy plays a more salient role in gaining legitimacy for IJVs in China.

Title: Which Stakeholder Pressure? Does it Matter?


  • Ciska Tobing, University of Indonesia

Abstract: The study integrates perspectives from the stakeholder influence literature, the corporate sustainability literature and organizational context to propose and empirically test hypotheses regarding the impacts perceived stakeholder pressure on business sustainability strategy. Companies have increasingly paid attention to their stakeholders in developing their sustainability strategy. For multinational companies that often operate in multiple jurisdictions, the dynamic of their stakeholder salience can be varied and contextual. This study proposes that perceived stakeholder pressure affects business sustainability strategy of oil and gas companies in Indonesia. It is curious to understand which stakeholder pressure (local, national or international) manifests the most in the formulation of sustainability strategy.

All Sessions in Track D...

Sun: 13:30 – 14:45
Session 43: Legitimacy, Language and Stakeholders: Do We Belong Here?
Sun: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 45: Institutions, Firm Behaviours, and Outcomes
Mon: 09:00 – 10:15
Session 42: Environmental Practices, Regulatory Regimes and Policy Uncertainty
Mon: 10:45 – 12:00
Session 39: Family Multinationals: Developing an Institution-Based Analysis
Session 41: Managerial Decision-making and the Micro-foundations of Strategic Choice
Mon: 13:15 – 14:30
Session 44: Ownership and Industry Effects: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives
Mon: 15:00 – 16:15
Session 40: Innovation, Growth Paths and Wealth Distribution

Strategic Management Society