Legitimation or legitimisation is the act of providing legitimacy. Legitimation in the social sciences refers to the process whereby an act, process, or ideology becomes legitimate by its attachment to norms and values within a given society. It is the process of making something acceptable and normative to a group or audience.

Legitimate power is the right to exercise control over others by virtue of the authority of one's superior organization position or status.

Power and influence

For example, the legitimation of power can be understood using Max Weber's traditional bases of power. In a bureaucracy, people gain legitimate use of power by their positions in which it is widely agreed that the specified person hold authority. There is no inherent right to wield power. For example, a president can exercise power and authority because the position is fully legitimated by society as a whole. In another example, if an individual attempts to convince others that something is "right," they can invoke generally accepted arguments that support their agenda. Advocacy groups must legitimate their courses of action based on invoking specific social norms and values. Invoking these norms and values allows the group to proceed in a rational and coherent manner with the expectation that their subsequent behavior is legitimated by the norms and values which guide their organizations.