No. 146: Using Legitimacy Strategies to Secure Organisational Survival Over Time: The Case of EFRAG

Year: 2024
Type: Working Paper


In this paper, we study how the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) used different legitimacy strategies between 2004 and 2021 to secure its organisational survival. Although EFRAG is now an established player within the regulatory space of corporate reporting, the organisation’s path towards this position was not straightforward. Based on 20 interviews with current and former members of EFRAG and archival documents, we investigate how EFRAG initially gained and maintained its legitimacy and how it responded to a legitimacy crisis arising in the aftermath of the 2008-09 financial crisis. Based on prior research on organisational strategies for legitimising actions, we derive a framework for our analysis and show how EFRAG has adapted various legitimacy strategies over time. We further find that the use of legitimacy strategies is constrained by various systemic factors and show how EFRAG’s adaptations to its legitimacy strategies led to new tensions. Our findings contribute to the literature on private regulatory organisations’ legitimacy and the political economy of standard setting.


Participating Institutions

TRR 266‘s main locations are Paderborn University (Coordinating University), HU Berlin, and University of Mannheim. All three locations have been centers for accounting and tax research for many years. They are joined by researchers from LMU Munich, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Goethe University Frankfurt, University of Cologne and Leibniz University Hannover who share the same research agenda.

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