Legitimating agencies facing selection: the case of AACSB

R. DURAND, J. McGuire

Organization Studies

février 2005, vol. 26, n°2, pp.165-196

Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Institutional theory, Legitimating agency, Selection theory, Domain expansion

This article proposes that legitimating agencies such as accreditation organizations face selection pressures to both maintain their legitimacy among their constituents, but also to expand the domain of their activities. We argue that domain expansion raises three important research questions: first, the factors that lead legitimating agencies to expand their domain; second, the need to maintain legitimacy among existing constituents; and third, the establishment of legitimacy in the new domain. We use the domain expansion of the AACSB to develop propositions relevant to these three research issues. Quality concerns, process vs. content strategy, and institutional entrepreneurship are the main factors that impact the legitimation of legitimating agencies