Venture creation is a social endeavor that necessarily requires the participation of multiple actors that come together with differing belief systems, perceptions, and importantly - different information (Shane & Cable, 2002). Given the asymmetry of information that characterizes relationships between participants in the entrepreneurial process, understanding the factors that inform entrepreneurial action represents a daunting challenge. Reputation plays a central role in such interactions (Fischer & Reuber, 2007); however questions as to how to conceptualize reputation in entrepreneurship remain largely unexplored.

We draw from work on reputation in the economics, organizational behavior, and psychology literatures, to develop a conceptual model positioned to decompose how entrepreneurial reputation is ultimately constructed, informed, and communicated. We situate our model in the entrepreneurial environment, and suggest propositions that relate entrepreneurial actions and artifacts with legitimizing outcomes, which we in turn serve to increase the likelihood that one’s entrepreneurial reputation will become salient to others across entrepreneurial situations.