The internal legitimacy of a CSR strategy: A study on the important factors for internal legitimacy of a CSR strategy according to employees.

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and legitimacy are major areas of research. However, within this field of research, few studies have been conducted from the perspective of employees, which is reflected in internal legitimacy. Therefore, this study aims to identify factors that are important for the internal legitimacy of a CSR strategy according to employees. A qualitative case study with inductive analysis of 15 semi-structured interviews was conducted with employees of Megagroup, a company in the wholesale industry. Nine factors were identified as important for the internal legitimacy of a CSR which can be divided into three types: cognitive legitimacy (involving employees in CSR strategy-related activities, the way in which the CSR strategy is shared, giving clear instructions on employees' contributions towards the CSR strategy), pragmatic legitimacy (giving employees a feeling of attachment to the CSR strategy, employees can easily execute the CSR strategy, managing employees' input), moral legitimacy (company shows the correct behaviour towards the CSR strategy, inclusion of stakeholders in the CSR strategy, internal processes in place for achieving CSR strategy goals). The findings of this study should be interpreted with caution due to its limited generalizability. Nonetheless, the findings contribute to existing research in this area and lay the groundwork for future studies on internal legitimacy of CSR strategies.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen