The transformational potential of public policy discourse

Judy Motion*, Shirley Leitch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we examine the relationship between public policy, legitimacy and organizational identity in the context of a societal controversy. Public policy is theorized as a mode for effecting discourse transformations which offer new possibilities and rules for organizational legitimacy and societal relations. Our study highlights the legitimating function of public policy formation processes and possible legitimacy-appreciating and-depreciating identity attributes for organizations at the centre of controversy. We develop a macro-level understanding of discursive legitimacy and organizational identity, examining the broader societal context and associated democratic implications of power/knowledge and truth claims.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1045-1061
Number of pages17
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


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