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date: 25 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article, which describes the formidable task of distinguishing reputation from image and legitimacy, evaluates the identity construct and certain key properties. In identity terms, legitimacy is an evaluative statement about the appropriateness of the organisation's central, enduring, and distinctive features, relative to a self-defining set of social requirements. A role-identity perspective shows the function that audiences, their interactions with the organisation, and their specific expectations for an organisation's behaviour, have in shaping social judgements such as legitimacy and reputation. It is suggested that legitimacy and reputation share important similarities and yet have distinct differences. The identity-based framework indicates that a firm seeking to improve their reputation would be better served by clarifying or changing constituents' expectations, rather than by worrying about inaccuracies in their perceptions.

Keywords: reputation, image, legitimacy, identity construct, social judgments, organisation, identity-based framework

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