How corporate communicators establish and maintain the legitimacy of their organisations Apple routinely tops the Fortune list of the world’s most admired companies. This can clearly be seen as an indication of its legitimacy – think of four reasons why Apple is a legitimate organisation with a good reputation. Feedback Is it because:
■ It is perceived as always obeying law and hasn’t been involved in any scandals?
■ It is a huge company and one of the very first producers of home computers and therefore is seen as an authority based on tradition?
■ It’s a ‘cool’ company and associated with the late Steve Jobs, a very charismatic leader? Each of these reasons relates to the principles on which Weber (1922/1968 in Waeraas 2009: 304) claims legitimacy may be based. Readers interested in following these principles to guide corporate communication practice aimed at legitimating the organisations they represent would do well to read Waeraas (2009).
■ It is always in the media – with its executives routinely used as sources of expert opinions? Routine media exposure can result in an accumulation of ‘institutional legitimacy’ and media capital (Davis 2003; Davis and Seymour 2010) or cultural capital (Bourdieu 1986).