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Praised from birth : social approval assets in the creation of a new university
Aula, H., & Siltaoja, M. (2021). Praised from birth : social approval assets in the creation of a new university. Baltic Journal of Management, 16(4), 638-657. https://doi.org/10.1108/bjm-04-2020-0103
Published inBaltic Journal of Management
DisciplineYritysten ympäristöjohtaminenSustainable BusinessKestävä liiketoiminta ja talous (painoala)Responsible Management, Leardership, Digitalization & StrategyCorporate Environmental ManagementSustainable BusinessSustainable Business and Economy (focus area)Responsible Management, Leardership, Digitalization & Strategy
© 2021 the Authors
Purpose – The authors explore how social approval assets, namely status and reputation, are used to legitimate and categorise a new national university. They argue that in the course of the legitimation process, status and reputation work as stakeholder-oriented value-creating benefits. The authors specifically analyse the discursive constructions and labels used in the process and how the process enables nationwide university reform. Design/methodology/approach – The authors’ longitudinal case study utilises critical discourse analysis and analyses media and policy discourses regarding the birth of Aalto University. Findings –The findings suggest that the legitimation of the new university was accomplished through the use of two distinct discourses: one on higher education and another on the market economy. These discourses not only sought to legitimise the new university as categorically different from existing Finnish universities, but also rationalised the merger using the expected reputation and status benefits that were claimed would accrue for supporters. Practical implications – This study elaborates on the role of various social approval assets and labels in legitimation processes and explores how policy enforcement can take place in arenas that are not necessarily perceived as policymaking. For managers, it is crucial to understand how a chosen label (name) can result in both stakeholder support and resistance, and how important it is to anticipate the changes a label can invoke. Originality/value – The authors propose that the use of several labels regarding a new organisation is strategically beneficial to attracting multiple audiences who may hold conflicting interests in terms of what the organisation and its offerings should embody. They propose that even though status and reputation have traditionally been defined as possessions of an organisation, they should be further understood as concepts used to disseminate and justify the interests, norms, structures and values in a stakeholder network. ...
ISSN Search the Publication Forum1746-5265
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- Kauppakorkeakoulu 
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