Understanding legitimacy building in contexts through digital entrepreneurship

Efe Imiren, Paul Lassalle, Samuel Mwaura, Katerina Nicolopoulou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose
This paper, through empirical evidence, presents a framework for exploring how entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of building legitimacy in a digital context. In so doing, this paper goes beyond the seemingly forgone conclusion that legitimacy is important for the entrepreneur's success by focusing on the contextualised mechanisms through which digital legitimacy is built.

Design/methodology/approach
Empirical findings are drawn from semi-structured interviews conducted with 21 digital entrepreneurs in Nigeria, a leading example of the West African context and analysed using a phenomenological approach.

Findings
The paper shows how digital entrepreneurs in a non-Western context draw on an aspect of legitimation in the digital space, and in particular, highlights three mechanisms via which this takes place, namely: digital shielding, digital curating and digital networking. Presented via an inductive approach, the three mechanisms described in the paper provide a scaffold for thinking about and understanding entrepreneurial legitimacy within a contextual framework, which incorporates institutional, cultural and digital dimensions.

Originality/value
This paper contributes to the literature on digital entrepreneurship by empirically identifying and theoretically elaborating themes that are important for understanding how entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of digital entrepreneurship and build entrepreneurial legitimacy in complex contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2023

Keywords

  • digital entrepreneurship
  • context
  • legitimacy building
  • digital shielding
  • digital curating

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding legitimacy building in contexts through digital entrepreneurship'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this