Could Legitimacy through Corporate Social Responsibility be an Antecedent for Export Performance Enhancement: an Exploratory Study

Communications of the IBIMA

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Wissem Ben Marzouk and Néji Bouslama 

Faculty of Economic Sciences and Management of Tunis, Tunisia

Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 624903, Communications of the IBIMA, 17 pages, DOI: 10.5171/2010.624903

Received date : ; Accepted date : ; Published date : 30 November 2010

Copyright © 2010 Wissem Ben Marzouk and Néji Bouslama . This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License unported 3.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that original work is properly cited


The search for better legitimacy in an institutional context within social responsible decisions is the main focus of the present work paper. This strategic tradeoff could stimulate stakeholders’ initiatives for ultimate cooperation with companies. The latter could leverage up resources managed by public institutions in order to develop better export performance. Social norms and institutional mechanisms are, however, fostered to raise legitimacy components. Thus, stakeholders use these norms and institutional processes to assess company’s legitimacy. The exploratory study depicts the likely relationship between legitimacy and export performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are deemed to be legitimate; however, social actions are ignored by interviewers    

Keywords: Institutional process, social norms, legitimacy, corporate social responsibility, stakeholders’ identification, marketing performance.