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Article and Activist Challenges: A Habermasian Perspective on Corporate Legitimacy
International Journal of Strategic Communication
  • Sarah Bonewits Feldner, Marquette University
  • Rebecca J. Meisenbach, University of Missouri - Columbia
Document Type
Format of Original
20 p.
Publication Date
Taylor & Francis
Original Item ID
doi: 10.1080/15531180701623569

This study develops a Habermasian framework for evaluating and generating challenges to organizational legitimacy. The launch of the web site represents an innovative example of an Internet-based activist public successfully challenging a corporation’s legitimacy and advocating for changes in corporate governance. Legitimacy research has focused on strategies used by organizations to build legitimacy (e.g., Dowling & Pfeffer, 1975; Metzler, 2001), but scholars rarely address how publics challenge legitimacy claims. Using Habermas’ conceptualization of communicative action and legitimacy to explore the case offers insight into ways that activist publics successfully challenge and reject the legitimacy claims of powerful corporations.


Originally published in International Journal of Strategic Communication, Vol. 1, No. 4 (October 2007), DOI. © 2007 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). Used with permission.

Citation Information
Sarah Bonewits Feldner and Rebecca J. Meisenbach. " and Activist Challenges: A Habermasian Perspective on Corporate Legitimacy" International Journal of Strategic Communication (2007) ISSN: 1553-118X
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