Understanding legitimacy building in contexts through digital entrepreneurship

Imiren, Efe, Lassalle, Paul, Mwaura, Samuel and Nicolopoulou, Katerina (2023) Understanding legitimacy building in contexts through digital entrepreneurship. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research. ISSN 1355-2554

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: digital entrepreneurship, context, legitimacy building, digital shielding, digital curating
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Suffolk Business School
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2023 12:50
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2023 12:50
URI: https://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3482

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