Abstract

Entrepreneurs face daunting odds when forming new ventures (NVs) because they often have difficulty convincing potential resource providers to provide resources to their NVs. These “liability of newness” (LoN) challenges must be overcome, however, to increase the probability of NV success.

To improve survival chances, NVs must quickly attain legitimacy, defined as favorable judgments of acceptance, appropriateness, and worthiness made about individuals or firms. Research has posited that attaining legitimacy facilitates NV survival by providing firms access to resources such as capital, employees, and customers. Thus, determining how NVs obtain legitimacy has long been a central issue in entrepreneurship research.Extant studies have examined how firms obtain legitimacy employing myriad theories. Although this cumulative research has advanced the field, it has also has resulted in a somewhat fragmented literature spanning macro- and firm-level issues. Given, however, that entrepreneurship research examines the intersection between environmental opportunities and individual entrepreneurs, additional theoretical development examining entrepreneur-level issues (e.g., behaviors) promoting legitimacy appears warranted.

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