Accreditation and Certification

Accreditations and certifications are crucial mechanisms through which organizations and organizational practices gain acceptance and appreciation within their relevant fields or contexts. Accreditations concern meeting standards of acceptable behavior. Certifications concern the quality of specific products, services, or other forms of performance. They both operate through legal and informal requirements and the monitoring of different aspects of organizational life, and influence an organization’s ability to operate within a given social context. This entry examines the social context of accreditations and certifications and the ways in which they are produced and diffused. The entry concludes by examining how accreditation and certification relate to corporate reputation, including through legitimacy and status.


Accreditation and certifications are usually seen as an expression of what Michael Power described as the ...

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