Mediatized Humanitarianism: Trust and Legitimacy in the Age of Suspicion

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    Abstract

    The article investigates the implications of mediatization for the legitimation strategies of humanitarian organizations. Based on a (full population) corpus of ~400 pages of brochure material from 1970 to 2007, the micro-textual processes involved in humanitarian organizations' efforts to legitimate themselves and their moral claim were examined. A time trend analysis of the prioritization of actors in the material indicates that marked shifts in legitimation loci have taken place during the past 40 years. A discourse analysis unfolds the three dominant discourses behind these shifts, namely legitimation by accountancy, legitimation by institutionalization, and legitimation by compensation. The analysis relates these changes to a problem of trust associated with mediatization through processes of mediation.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Business Ethics
    Volume120
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)509-525
    Number of pages17
    ISSN0167-4544
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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