Institutionalizing women's enterprise policy: a legitimacy- based perspective

Norin Arshed, Dominic Chalmers, Russell Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Despite efforts to increase the quantity and quality of women-owned businesses, enterprise policy has enjoyed only modest success. This article explores the role of legitimacy in these outcomes by examining how and when individual stakeholders evaluate and then influence the legitimacy of women’s enterprise policy. We draw on 45 interviews with actors in the UK enterprise policy ecosystem and an ethnographic study of the policy process. We present a multilevel model of two opposing legitimacy processes: a legitimacy repair loop and a delegitimizing loop. In doing so, we provide a novel perspective on policy institutionalizing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-581
Number of pages28
JournalEntrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Issue number3
Early online date3 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • women entrepreneurs
  • women entrepreneurship
  • institutional theory
  • enterprise policy
  • legitimacy
  • legitimacy theory


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