On Bandit Organizations and Their (IL)Legitimacy: Concept Development and Illustration

SAGE Publications
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Organization Studies, 2016, 37, (11), pp. 1575-1594
Issue Date:
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Outlaw organizations are neglected in organization studies. This is understandable given the presumption of illegitimacy they attract. Our article challenges the presumption by positing the concept of ‘bandit organizations’, demonstrating how some can build impressive levels of legitimacy among their audience. The case of Christopher ‘Dudas’ Coke, a philanthropic Jamaican drug cartel leader, and his ‘Shower Posse’ gang, is used to investigate how contemporary bandit organizations foster legitimacy. By placing ‘shadow economy’ organizations like this in the spotlight, we seek to extend scholarship on organizational legitimacy, while avoiding any undue romanticization of criminal organizations.
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