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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2013
Thesis number: 13528
Discursive legitimation strategies in the media. Case study of the UK retail planning policy
Author: Lavrusheva, Olga
Title: Discursive legitimation strategies in the media. Case study of the UK retail planning policy
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; vähittäiskauppa; retail trade; media; media; strategia; strategy; suunnittelu; planning; Iso-Britannia; United Kingdom
Pages: 97
Full text:
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Key terms: critical discourse analysis, legitimacy, legitimation strategy, media, UK retail planning
The broad objective of this research is to gain understanding of the legitimacy construction. The thesis is aimed to enhance the existing organizational studies on legitimacy by investigating legitimation practices used to institutionalise the changes of a particular institutional field. The objective of the study is to define discursive legitimation strategies employed in the mass media to legitimate the novel implications and delegitimate out-dated practices introduced in the field of the UK retail planning policy. Particularly, the legitimation approaches used in the British media to introduce spread and gain public acceptance of the modifications of the UK retail planning policy happened during 1980-2000s, were explored. To develop an understanding of the legitimation processes, a critical discourse analytic methodology was applied to the collection of articles in order to connect linguistic analysis with social phenomenon and define the role of discourses in the construction and maintenance of an organizational field. The materials used for the analysis were extracted from three British newspapers and magazines: The Grocer, The Guardian and Retail Week. The research analysis was broken into three parts. First, an overall thematic analysis was conducted on the textual material to see what the most significant topics arise from it and classify them into thematic groups. Second, interdiscursive analysis was implemented to identify discourses developed respectively to the earlier described themes and to define their types. The third stage involved content analysis of the legitimation strategies, established by discursive practices in the media. Following the approach of critical discourse analysis the research depicted, investigated and described four distinctive categories of discursive legitimation strategies, signifying specific ways of making sense of, and giving sense to the changes of the UK retail planning policy: authorization, rationalization, narrativization and moralization. The study argues that each strategic type has its own distinguishing features, objectives and ways of introduction. Hence, each of the strategy is used to fulfil some specific objectives in addition to the legitimation and delegitimation purposes. The results of the analysis helped to gain better understanding of legitimation, describing it as a complex, vague and contradictory process requiring proactive and accurate management. Despite their distinguishing nature, the legitimation strategies were found to be complementary to one another, representing a range of ways for establishing legitimacy within the social setting. The findings shed more light on the phenomenon of legitimacy and gave some practical ideas of its utilization in various organizational fields. By concentrating on media texts, the thesis emphasised the significant role of the mass media in the complex processes leading to legitimation, which can be explored further and utilized broadly in various organizational settings. By focusing on a particular institutional field, the study provides more knowledge on the discursive practices involved in the process of institutional restructuring, which deeps the comprehension of this complex phenomenon.
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