3.6 – Building legitimacy

Why is this important?

Through the tool “building legitimacy”, we present a systematic procedure for constructing the network’s reputation or legitimacy. This can happen by stimulating positive thoughts in and around the network, kindling commitment among members, and by developing good relations both within the network and to the outside world. Legitimacy is akin to a type of capital that can be accumulated, but which may also be eroded if the actor is not worthy of the trust. As with other capital, it takes a long time to establish a robust reputation – but destroying a good reputation can happen quickly and merciless. One single unfortunate event can do much damage. Establishing and maintaining legitimacy is therefore something that all networks must take seriously.

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