Apostasy versus legitimacy: relational dynamics and routes to resource acquisition in entrepreneurial ventures

Lyndsey Stringfellow, Eleanor Shaw, Mairi Maclean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article explores the relational dynamics of legitimation within a professional service venture context, using a Bourdieusian framework to elucidate the struggles for capital and legitimacy that characterise the venture development process. Two profiles of individual business owners who renounce or adhere to established norms of the professional field are identified: apostate and traditional. Small accounting ventures may benefit from improved access to resources if they concentrate on fitting in with prevailing small firm professional logics, eschewing logics from outside the focal field associated with apostates. A model of legitimacy is developed that accounts for the efficacy of institutional and strategic modes of legitimacy relative to the maturity of the field and objectification of its social formations. We propose that entrepreneurial habitus mediates field-level conditions and capital formations that, when combined, create symbolic capital and resource acquisition possibilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-592
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Volume32
Issue number5
Early online date13 Jan 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014

Keywords

  • professional service firms
  • Bourdieu
  • legitimacy
  • professional habitus
  • social capital

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