In Search of Legitimacy: Managerialism and Legitimation in Civil Society Organizations

Michael Meyer, Renate Buber, Anahid Aghamanoukjan

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung

Abstract

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. <br/>Keywords: managerialism; organizational legitimacy; legitimating accounts; annual reports; discourse analysis
OriginalspracheEnglisch
Seiten (von - bis)167 - 193
FachzeitschriftVoluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
Jahrgang24
Ausgabenummer1
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Apr. 2013

Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)

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