Overcoming liability of newness through legitimacy: A stakeholder salience perspective

Clay Dibrell, Aaron J. Johnson, Ken Moores, Justin B Craig

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Findings are presented on how start-up ventures in search of legitimacy are affected by internal and external stakeholders. Additionally, the salience that start-up entrepreneurs place on external and internal stakeholders in pre- and post-start-up legitimacy attainment is studied. Institutional theory, resource-based view of the firm, and stakeholder salience theory inform our discussion. Using case and survey research methods nine start-up and three established Australian wineries from eight different regions are studied. Data collection consisted of: (1) semi-structured interviews with owner(s); (2) field research notes; and (3) a validation questionnaire. The findings suggest that startups,
in this instance wineries, are able to attain legitimacy through both external and internal
sources. Implications are discussed and include: (1) a greater understanding of how start-ups attain
legitimacy; (2) start-ups rely to a greater extent on internal more so than external sources, but both
are used to gain legitimacy, suggesting that institutional and resource-based view theories are
complementary in the context of start-ups, and (3) the salience of stakeholders by start-ups in
attaining and maintaining legitimacy remains relatively stable over time.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventAustralian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference: Our intellectual and social capital - Sydney , Australia
Duration: 4 Dec 20077 Dec 2007
Conference number: 21st


ConferenceAustralian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference
Abbreviated titleANZAM
Internet address


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