Vol 43 No 2 (2013)

The impact of government's coercive power on the perceived legitimacy of Canadian post-secondary institutions

Fiona A.E. McQuarrie
University of the Fraser Valley
Alex Kondra
Athabasca University
Kai Lamertz
Concordia University
Published August 31, 2013


Governments regulate and control organizations, yet their role in determining organizational legitimacy is largely unexamined. In the changing Canadian post-secondary landscape, legitimacy is an increasingly important issue for post-secondary institutions as they compete amongst themselves for access to ever-shrinking resources. Using an institutional theory framework, we analyze two examples of government policy and legislation relating to the organizational legitimacy of Canadian post-secondary institutions. Based on this analysis, we suggest a more nuanced understanding of the effects of government’s coercive power on organizational legitimacy.



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