#FeesMustFall# movement in the post-apartheid era: legitimacy battle for leaders

du Plessis, Linda and Bui, Hong T. M. (2023) #FeesMustFall# movement in the post-apartheid era: legitimacy battle for leaders. Journal of Organizational Change Management. ISSN ISSN: 0953-4814

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Underpinned by institutional legitimacy, this study explores how South African public university senior managers struggled to maintain legitimacy during an unplanned radical change process.

Gioia's grounded theory analysis approach is employed to analyse interviews with 37 senior managers of public-funded universities in South Africa.

This study's findings show that a change without proper planning severely damages institutions in all aspects of leadership's normative, empirical, moral and pragmatic legitimacy.

Research limitations/implications
This study contributes to the literature on legitimacy by illustrating the importance of institutional legitimacy during unplanned social change and the factors that negate legitimacy.

Though other legitimacy models have been well developed, they do not apply to such unplanned social change in organisations. This study shows a different angle of the legitimacy crisis under unplanned social change conditions.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-11-2022-0338
27 June 2023Accepted
14 July 2023Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Legitimacy, unplanned change, crisis, #FeesMustFall#, Social movement, Senior managers
Subjects: CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-04 - management studies
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School
Depositing User: Hong Bui
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2023 11:01
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2023 12:59
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14607

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