Abstract

Prior researchers argue that entrepreneurs seek legitimacy throughout the entire entrepreneurial process (Tornikoski and Newbert, 2007; Zimmerman and Zeitz, 2002). As such, entrepreneurship researchers have taken a strategic stance on legitimacy-seeking, suggesting that entrepreneurs can craft stories or highlight milestones or achievements to influence the legitimacy judgments of stakeholders. Based on the work of past researchers, Zimmerman and Zeitz (2002) propose four types of legitimacy they anticipate to impact firm growth: cognitive, sociopolitical regulative, sociopolitical normative, and industry. In this paper we attempt to create and validate an instrument related to these four types of legitimacy to explore whether the proposed legitimizing activities represent the categories of legitimacy that researchers have suggested.

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