New Article on Legitimacy and Crowdfunding Just Accepted

Today, my paper — “The Legitimacy Threshold Revisited: How Prior Successes and Failures Spill Over to Other Endeavors on Kickstarter” — co-authored with Jean-François (JF) Soublière (University of Alberta) was accepted for publication in the Academy of Management Journal.

The paper asks: How does the legitimacy conferred on entrepreneurial endeavors affect the legitimacy of subsequent ones? We extend the notion of a “legitimacy threshold” to develop and test a recursive model of legitimacy. Whereas extant research has focused on whether entrepreneurial endeavors garner sufficient support from key audiences to cross this threshold, we argue that the order of magnitude by which they succeed or fail is consequential for later entrants, too. Distinguishing “blockbuster” from “unsung” successes, and “path breaking” from “broken path” failures, we contend that recent successes and failures affect related subsequent endeavors in predictable, though sometimes counterintuitive ways. We test our hypotheses by examining 182,358 entrepreneurial endeavors pitched within 165 categories over a six-year period on Kickstarter, one of the most important crowdfunding platforms. We show that individual outcomes, taken collectively, generate legitimacy spillovers, either by encouraging audiences to repeatedly support other related endeavors or by discouraging them from doing so. Our research contributes to understanding the recursive nature of legitimacy, the competitive dynamics of entrepreneurial efforts, and crowdfunding platforms.

Broken Paths or Path Breaking Failures?

On Thursday, I presented some of my latest research — “Legitimation Spillovers and Piggybacking: How Distributed Successes and Failures Move Market Categories” — at the West Coast Research Symposium on Technology Entrepreneurship. Co-authored with J.-F. Soublière, the paper develops and tests a set of novel theoretical predictions about the role of prior successes and failures on the legitimation of new ideas and products (i.e., the extent to which they garner the attention and support of key audiences).

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Congrats to JF on His Dissertation Proposal Defense

This morning, Jean-François (J.-F.) Soublière successfully defended his dissertation proposal — Essays on Cultural Entrepreneurship: Distributed Cultural Entrepreneurship, Legitimacy Spillovers and Piggybacking, and a Theory of Meaning Cultivation. He is now a Ph.D. candidate, my first Ph.D. student to reach this milestone. I have been J.-F.’s supervisor since he joined our program in August 2014. His other committee members were Michael Lounsbury and Dev Jennings and his outside examiners were Mary Ann Glynn (Boston College) and Tim Hannigan (University of Alberta).

Cultural Entrepreneurship Article In Press

Today, my article — Cultural Entrepreneurship: From making Culture to Cultural Making — was published online. The article was co-authored Jean-François Soublière, a Ph.D. student I am supervising, and will appear in the newly re-launched journal Innovation: Organization & Management, co-edited by Markus Perkmann and Nelson Phillips, both of Imperial College London. I also have joined the journal’s editorial board.

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