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Organizational legitimacy in quasi-markets: the provision of housing for the homeless and manned security services

The purpose of this project is to study how companies in quasi-markets, contracted by the public sector, legitimate themselves, their work and the services they provide as for-profit organizations performing public functions.

This entails an in-depth exploration of the ‘legitimation work’ of the companies. How do they manage their organizational legitimacy? What strategies do they have for gaining, maintaining and repairing legitimacy?

This research project aims to contribute with an elaborated theory on the maintenance and repair of organizational legitimacy, or legitimation work, of companies in quasi-markets. This is reached through comparative qualitative case study research; using cases from different policy-context, varying in organizational form, comparing the cases as wholes, and different units and levels of analysis. The cases chosen are: the private provision of housing for the homeless and manned security services. The sampling of the second case is purposive and theoretical; based on the emergent findings of the first case-study. Types of data collection methods are: documents, interviews, and field-based observations based on the technique of ‘shadowing’, enabling data on occupational culture. The study will contribute to organization (legitimacy) research, research on the marketization of public services, and the debate about how the values of the public administration and that of the market as an organizing principle can and should be combined.

Funding: The Swedish Research Council
Project leader: Cecilia Hansen Löfstrand

Page Manager: Anders Östebo|Last update: 8/12/2014

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