Over the last few years, the concept of legitimacy in public safety has been debated and discussed at length. In public safety, the need for legitimacy and trustworthiness is incredibly important, and helps to bridge the gap between police and the citizens they serve. In fact, the concept is so important, that a well-known police chief from southern California once said, “a public safety agency is only as successful as its citizens allow it to be.” Improving relations with the community not only improves legitimacy, it is also a core objective of public safety and should be openly embraced across the country.
Similarly, today’s leading organizations face a global crisis of legitimacy. For the first time in decades, their influence, and even their right to exist, is being questioned. Businesses are being held accountable in many ways for the welfare, prosperity, and health of the communities and people who support their business. The challenges that come with this legitimacy concern must be understood for businesses to be successful in a highly competitive marketplace.
It is important to remember that businesses rely on people to survive and cannot, therefore, be solely focused on financial success, but also developing social standards to be considered successful. Often, these standards become more deterministic in shaping and building a business, and considerations of legitimacy should be addressed for a business to prosper in a society. The interrelation between business and societal norms intersect in many ways, and today businesses’ ethical, social, and societal responsibility has a direct correlation to their bottom-line.