Abstract

While organizational identities play a crucial role in the launch and survival of an entrepreneurial venture, we know little about strategies new ventures use to reveal their identities to multiple audiences. In this longitudinal qualitative study of an emerging venture, we seek to clarify how new ventures respond to perceptions of legitimacy from different audiences, especially when a new venture holds a marginalized identity. We follow a faith-based accelerator that manages its faith-based identity by moving from identity opacity to identity transparency despite lacking legitimacy. Our inductive study provides insight into how and why nascent organizations either prevent, or promote aspects of their core identity in the legitimation process.

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