School Administrators as Legitimation Agents: Linking Perceived Organizational Legitimacy and Legitimation Strategies
Year: 2018 Vol: 18 Number: 2
Schools operate in an environment heavily influenced by institutional and political factors. While standardizing effects of strict legal regulations and the public education system impose certain structural and professional limitations on schools, political pressures from various interest groups may create gaps between rules and school practices. It can be suggested that school administrators can benefit from these gaps to legitimize school level practices. In this study, we examined the effects of proactive, protective and reactive legitimation strategies used by administrators on legitimacy perceptions of internal stakeholders. Using a prediction research design, the study was conducted with 365 administrators and 426 teachers working in 94 schools. The researchers developed a “Perceived Organizational Legitimacy Scale” and a “Legitimacy Management Strategies Scale” to gather data. Findings showed that proactive and protective strategies had positive effects on all types of legitimacy perceptions whereas reactive strategies had positive effects only on taken-for-grantedness. Moreover, reactive strategies mostly had negative effects on pragmatic legitimacy and comprehensibility, but no significant relationship was found between these strategies and moral legitimacy.