We advance research on legitimacy by theorising a multilevel model of how an individual legitimacy belief – propriety – is affected by an exogenous shock and how 2 collective constructs – validity and consensus – influence this effect. Whereas validity can reflect underlying consensus, the constructs are not the same, given that validity may hide disagreement and thus low consensus. Disentangling validity from consensus allows us to theorise that changes in evaluators’ propriety beliefs are strongest following exogenous shocks characterised by high validity and low consensus, because a shock may reveal that validity was contested. Using a regression discontinuity design based on data from 6,198 evaluators across 16 countries, we examine the effect of the 2008 financial crisis on individuals’ propriety beliefs in free markets. Our results provide empirical support for our theory and thereby shed light on how legitimacy changes in the wake of an exogenous shock.
Patrick Haack is Professor of Strategy and Responsible Management in the Department of Strategy, Globalization and Society at HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne. He also serves as the Director of the HEC Research Center for Grand Challenges. His research interests centre on social evaluations, practice adoption, and the application of experiments and formal models to the study of social and institutional change. A major focus of Professor Haack’s current research relates to the conceptual and empirical exploration of legitimacy, a crucial antecedent of social and institutional change. Professor Haack is an International Research Fellow at the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation and serves as an Associate Editor at the Academy of Management Review.
There will be a light lunch in the seminar room from 11:30.
For more information, please contact Luke Slater.