1 Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, Copenhagen Business School
Trust and Legitimacy in the Age of Suspicion
The article investigates the implications of mediatization for the legitimation strategies of humanitarian organizations. Based on a (full population) corpus of ~400 pages of brochure material from 1970 to 2007, the micro-textual processes involved in humanitarian organizations' efforts to legitimate themselves and their moral claim were examined. A time trend analysis of the prioritization of actors in the material indicates that marked shifts in legitimation loci have taken place during the past 40 years. A discourse analysis unfolds the three dominant discourses behind these shifts, namely legitimation by accountancy, legitimation by institutionalization, and legitimation by compensation. The analysis relates these changes to a problem of trust associated with mediatization through processes of mediation.
Journal of Business Ethics, 2014, Vol 120, Issue 4, p. 509-525