Legitimacy has long been considered essential to an organisation’s continued existence. Though intangible, like a brand, it amounts to a de facto licence to operate conferred on a ﬁrm by those it comes into contact with. Legitimacy is earned when there is satisfaction about how companies are governed in terms of inclusivity, transparency and accountability. It is not a static resource, but is built or eroded over time.
Iraq presents ﬁrms with unique legitimacy challenges, not least in terms of identifying those who can confer it in a country where civil society has been repressed for decades.