How Do Global Unicorns Gain Global Legitimacy?
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AbstractAlthough much has been written on the importance of organizational legitimacy to startups in terms of either growth or survival, little is known about how global unicorns, in particular the emerging global sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Uber, gain global legitimacy, broadly defined as the legitimacy from global stakeholders. This paper aims to address this notable research gap. Building on legitimacy research from institutional theory, we first identify three types of legitimacy – normative, cognitive, and regulative, and connect them with three key stakeholders – investors, customers, and governments. We then go a step further by drawing from practice theory perspective and propose four practice manifestations closely related to global unicorns – realization, diffusion, resistance, and refinement. We argue that practice realization and diffusion will increase investors’ perception of normative legitimacy; meanwhile, practice diffusion could also enhance consumers’ cognitive legitimacy for certain activities. With respect to regulative legitimacy, both practice resistance and refinement will facilitate global unicorns to obtain government’s acceptance. Positioned as such, this study is among the first to echo Buckley, Doh, and Benischke’s (2017) call for addressing the grand challenges in international business.
Acceptance Date03/02/2018
All Author(s) ListAqi Liu, Xufei MA
Name of Conference2018 Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business (AIB)
Start Date of Conference25/06/2018
End Date of Conference28/06/2018
Place of ConferenceMinneapolis, Minnesota
Country/Region of ConferenceUnited States of America
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2018-03-07 at 16:30