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Legitimisation strategies and managerial capture: a critical discourse analysis of employment relations in Nigeria

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Irrespective of the fundamental role of legitimacy in industrial relations as well as social and organisational life, little is known of the subtle meaning-making strategies through which organisational concepts, such as employment relations and engagement, are legitimised in modern world of work, particularly in developing countries such as Nigeria, which results in managerial capture. As a result, this paper explores the discursive legitimisation strategies used when making sense of employment relations in Nigeria’s conflictual, non-participatory employment relations terrain. Relying on Leeuwen’s legitimisation strategies, critical discourse analysis (CDA) and call by Bailey, Luck & Townsend and Legge to widen employment relations discourse, we explore interview, focus group and shadow report data, and distinguish and analyse five legitimisation strategies. The strategies include authorisation, moralisation, mythopoesis, rationalisation, and management. Therefore, we contend that while these specific legitimisation strategies appear in separate data source, their recurrent manifestation and application underscores legitimising discourse of managerial capture in Nigeria’s employment relations.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Early online date9 Jul 2018
Publication statusEarly online - 9 Jul 2018


  • Oruh_et_al_IJHRM_Final_Subm

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The International Journal of Human Resiurce Management on 09.07.2018, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 638 KB, PDF-document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 9/01/20

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