This exercise can be found on page 46 in “Toolbox 2.0 for Strategic Leadership of Innovative Networks”. You can download a PDF version of the toolbox here.


Exercise 2: How do we develop socio-political legitimacy (See table 10)?

1. How can we develop a moral engagement for the network among the stakeholders?
2. How can we develop good government relations?

Table 10. Help to answer questions 1 and 2.

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Develop moral commitment Develop good relationships with political authorities
The individual organization (business) Build on existing local networks Be constructive in collaboration with public authorities
Leadership and management of the network, internal processes Get noticed and be perceived as a serious and reliable through joint actions Act as a unit in meetings with public authorities (influencing laws and regulations)
Relationships to other networks and key actors Build a good reputation for the novelty through negotiations and agreements with industries or networks Try to gain support from public offices against competing networks
Relationships with national/international institutions Joint (inter)national marketing and lobbying Invite key people from the public and private sector to participate in the network

Table 10 are supposed to be a creative tool for participants in networks to allow them to discover how to build legitimacy. We have filled the table with some examples, but each network needs to figure out what their strategies need to be. The most important thing is to decide on strategies one thinks will work, not to fill every space in the table, or worry if a suggestion is placed correctly or incorrectly in the table.

Building legitimacy has to be seen in connection with strategic tools such as the hedgehog concept, building relationships and lifecycle. It is also closely related to the functional tool of membership benefits, as well as external benefit.

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