We consider how in issue selling, subsidiaries draw on different forms of legitimacy to attract corporate headquarters’ (CHQ) positive attention and minimise negative CHQ attention. Through case study evidence, we find that directing CHQ attention to subsidiary issues needs to be executed as a balancing act through forms of subsidiary legitimacy, namely; the personal legitimacy of key individuals at the subsidiary; consequential legitimacy vis-à-vis peer subsidiaries; and linkage legitimacy in the local environment. We develop a typology of subsidiary issue-selling roles and illustrate how negative CHQ attention results from a failure to legitimise issue selling.
Conroy, K. M., & Collings, D. G. (2016). The Legitimacy of Subsidiary Issue Selling: Balancing Positive & Negative Attention from Corporate Headquarters. Journal of World Business, 51(4), 612-627. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2016.03.002