Voluntary sector chargeable support services: A typology of actor worldviews of legitimacy.

ELLIOTT, Dawn Angela. (2016). Voluntary sector chargeable support services: A typology of actor worldviews of legitimacy. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This thesis sets out to examine the ways in which actors sitting within local infrastructure organisations (LIOs) consider, construct and respond to ideas of legitimacy against the backdrop of a shifting institutional environment that increasingly favours charging front line organisations (FLOs) for support services that were previously provided free at the point of use. It employs an institutional lens to explore the linkages between actors, legitimacy and a shifting institutional narrative from an actor level perspective, providing insight into the ways in which actors' worldviews of what is - and what is not - legitimate are shaped, and how such worldviews then play out in practice. At a theoretical level, the research advances knowledge in respect of bringing about an understanding of the contemporary changes happening within LIOs in relation to charging for services, particularly from an actor level perspective. At a practical level, the research serves to inform practitioners both within LIOs, and within organisations more broadly, of the frames through which actors consider whether a change (such as a new policy or new strategic direction) may or may not be legitimate, and the ways that those actor worldviews then shape the behaviours of actors, or groups of actors, in practice. The thesis presents information drawn from a multi-sited ethnography, conducted across four LIOs over a six month period, with six weeks spent at each site. The findings are presented through a typology of thirteen distinct actor worldviews of legitimacy, which are informed by the dominant value set of each actor type, and played out through the employment of ten separate rhetorical strategies, used to argue for their preferred worldview. The typology serves to underpin an eight stage process of actor legitimacy formation and influencing, which shows the stages through which actors consider, construct and respond to ideas of legitimacy at times of institutional shift. The key contribution to knowledge arising from the research is embedded in how considerations of legitimacy play out at an actor level across LIO settings, in specific relation to actor consideration of and responses to contemporary changes with respect to institutional shifts towards the favouring of chargeable support services. The eight stage process underpinning this contribution also contributes to understandings of how legitimacy plays out at the actor level per se, and how actors seek to shape their institutional environment at times of shifting institutional narratives. It does this by developing understanding of the ways in which actors use their worldviews of legitimacy in a bid to further the interests that they believe to be legitimate within their institutional environment. This in turn contributes to debates surrounding how legitimacy plays out at the actor level and how actors consider, construct and respond to ideas of legitimacy. Further, the typology of actor worldviews underpinning the eight stage process contributes to current understandings of legitimacy both by adding an actor level perspective to the currently available typologies of legitimacy, and by contributing four legitimacy types that are not believed to exist in current literature. These four legitimacy types focus on legitimacy as viewed through a focus on strategy; legitimacy that is opportunistic in nature; legitimacy relating to leadership of the sector or industry, and legitimacy that relates to advancing practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2016.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:19
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:19
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19614

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