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When orders of worth clash: Negotiating legitimacy in situations of moral multiplexity

Reinecke, J., van Bommel, K. & Spicer, A. (2017). When orders of worth clash: Negotiating legitimacy in situations of moral multiplexity. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 52, pp. 33-72. doi: 10.1108/s0733-558x20170000052002


How is moral legitimacy established in pluralist contexts where multiple moral frameworks co-exist and compete? Situations of moral multiplexity complicate not only whether an organization or practice is legitimate but also which criteria should be used to establish moral legitimacy. We argue that moral legitimacy can be thought of as the property of a dynamic dialogical process in which relations between moral schemes are constantly (re-)negotiated through dynamic exchange with audiences. Drawing on Boltanski and Thévenot's 'orders of worth' framework, we propose a process model of how three types of truces may be negotiated: transcendence, compromise, antagonism. While each can create moral legitimacy in pluralistic contexts, legitimacy is not a binary variable but varying in degrees of scope and certainty.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Economies of worth, French pragmatist sociology, dialogue, justifications, moral legitimacy, convention theory
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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