Identity work and legitimacy

Andrew D. Brown, Sammy Toyoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Citations (SciVal)


We analyse the relationships between identity work and internal legitimacy. Based on an in-depth case study of prisoners in Helsinki Prison, we focus on how their identity work affirmed and contested three kinds of institutional legitimacy - pragmatic, moral and cognitive. The research contribution we make is to show that some forms of identity work are also a form of internal legitimacy work, and how this identity talk constructs organizations as more (or less) legitimate. This is important because it demonstrates that identity work is an intrinsic (though often overlooked) aspect of processes of organizing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-896
Number of pages22
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number7
Early online date27 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


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