Quotation Meyer, Michael, Buber, Renate, Aghamanoukjan, Anahid. 2013. In Search of Legitimacy: Managerialism and Legitimation in Civil Society Organizations. Voluntas. International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 24 (1): 167-193.




In this paper we investigate changes in the legitimating accounts used by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), in the context of spreading managerialism - one of the most powerful institutional practices of our time - in the Third Sector. We first introduce the concepts of legitimacy and legitimating account, before showing how managerialism manifests itself in CSOs and presenting three managerialist accounts used to legitimate such organizations: efficiency and effectiveness (E&E), stakeholder needs and innovation. We then examine empirically how the use of these accounts changed between 1995 and 2008. To do so we analyze quantitatively the contents of a sample of annual reports produced by Austrian CSOs over the stated period, and apply discourse analysis to a smaller group of reports in order to reveal more fine-grained developments. Our results show significant changes; of our chosen accounts, the one most tightly linked with managerialism, E&E, had come to be taken for granted by 2008, whereas the more generic and subtle concepts of stakeholder needs and innovation featured more strongly than in 1995. Keywords: managerialism; organizational legitimacy; legitimating accounts; annual reports; discourse analysis


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new INF-A, MAN-A, STRAT-B, WH-B
Language English
Title In Search of Legitimacy: Managerialism and Legitimation in Civil Society Organizations
Volume 24
Number 1
Year 2013
Page from 167
Page to 193
Reviewed? Y
URL http://www.springerlink.com/content/255851jp80453261/?MUD=MP


From Innovation to Legitimacy
Meyer, Michael (Details)
Buber, Renate (Details)
Aghamanoukjan, Anahid (Former researcher)
Institute for Nonprofit Management IN (Details)
Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship WE (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5363 Non-profit-sector research (NPO, NPI) (Details)
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