Dr. Lawrence Kohlberg first used the concept of legitimate authority when describing moral development and ultimately decision making skills. “Legitimate Authority” is a concept that I use to understand the decision making process of most people. What the concept basically means is that some people make decisions based on what people might think of them, rather than on the principle of the situation.
This is especially the case in young adults as they seem to give into peer pressure situations and in some cases tend to make very poor decisions. Legitimate authority decision making is also based on the concept that people make decisions based on what people think, but they can choose for themselves which people are important to them, thus legitimate authorities in their lives.
The legitimate authority concept then develops, after a period of trial and error, into a core value of decision making based on the principle of the situation because one begins to see themselves as the “legitimate authority”. The better one gets at making CONSISTENTLY good choices the more confident they become in the authority that they have given themselves (positive self concept).
We value the input of our patrons, inspectors and team and in the end we view all of these as sources of legitimate authority because you matter. However, when it comes to making concrete decisions about our product many of the decisions that we make are based in principle carried over to give you as “legitimate authorities” the best that we can.