This article synthesizes the large but diverse literature on organiza- tional legitimacy, highlighting similarities and disparities among the leading strategic and institutional approaches. The analysis identi- fies three primary forms of legitimacy: pragmatic, based on audience self-interest; moral, based on normative approval: and cognitive, based on comprehensibility and taken-for-grantedness. The article then examines strategies for gaining, maintaining, and repairing le- gitimacy of each type, suggesting both the promises and the pitfalls of such instrumental manipulations.
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