Understanding legitimacy: institutional, situational, and personal influences on student perceptions of academic misconduct in a multinational setting




Hess-Escalante, Erin Nicole

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Legitimacy is a socially created and bestowed phenomenon. Individuals seek internal and external legitimacy within and for their organizations, respectively. However, in a global business environment, societies have different notions about what is (or is not) legitimate; and, as the business climate becomes more globalized, management scholars and practitioners are concerned with understanding the influences of multiple, overlapping institutional environments. Additionally, organizations want trustworthy employees who make appropriate judgments regarding the legitimacy of behaviors. By investigating the differences between international and national students’ perceptions regarding proscribed behaviors, this research addresses these two concerns together – making legitimacy judgments in an international environment. This research addresses the following questions: 1) How does institutional distance influence perceptions of legitimacy and 2) How do personal goals influence the relationship between institutional distance and perceptions of legitimacy. Additional post hoc analyses examine situational differences within perceptions of legitimacy.


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Goal orientation, Institutional distance, Organizational legitimacy, Academic misconductLegitimacy, Misconduct