The legitimisation of local environmental organisations by community members

The relationship between corporations and society is of practical and academic interest. In this context, the important role of local environmental organisations representing community members interests is a key question to analyze.


Although environmental activists play an important role in addressing
local environmental injustices, they find it difficult to legitimise their
activities. They are frequently challenged by political and business
forces on the grounds that they are raising barriers to local economic
development and are often regarded as irrational or hysterical. In this
study we analyse the legitimacy conferred on local environmental
organisations by residents living near a polluting industrial site.
Considering an individual’s judgement of legitimacy as an attitude and
drawing on the social psychological and risk-benefit analysis literatures,
we define a model that explains how individuals’ beliefs and
perceptions about local environmental organisations and their context
(in terms of the local industry risk-benefit controversy), together with
personal environmental beliefs, influence their assessments of
legitimacy. Results show that individuals’ legitimacy judgements of local
environmental organisations are directly influenced by beliefs about
their credibility and the risk perceptions associated with the industrial
area, and indirectly affected by personal environmental beliefs.

Link to the paper on the digital journal: 10.1080/13549839.2023.2187361

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