‘Shattered glass’: Assessing the influence of mass media on legitimacy and entrepreneurs’ adoption of new organizational practices

Johannes Cornelis Kuijpers, Michel Léon Ehrenhard, Aard Groen

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    Abstract

    Legitimacy defined as a generalized assumption of desirability or appropriateness of an action or idea (Ashford & Gibbs, 1990; Suchman, 1995) is argued to play an important role in the maintenance and change of organizations and institutions (Scott, 2008; Scott, Ruef, Mendel, & Caronna, 2000). Irrespective the important role, we know surprisingly less about the process of legitimation and specifically how generalized assumption change and diffuse (Vaara, Tienari, & Laurila, 2006; Zucker, 1977). Media is a rich indicator of society- wide legitimacy (Baum & Powell, 1995; Dowling & Pfeffer, 1975) and therefore scholars have used media to measure legitimacy (e.g.: Abrahamson & Fairchild, 1999; Bansal & Clelland, 2004; Deephouse, 1996; Pollock & Rindova, 2003). Problematic in using media as measure of legitimacy is that media is argued to play a dual role, that is reflecting legitimacy and influencing legitimacy (Deephouse, 1996; Fombrun & Shanley, 1990; McCombs & Shaw, 1972). Regardless the dual role of media, it is likely that entrepreneurs’ adoption of new practices is related to media’ s reporting around the new practice. First entrepreneurs’ assumptions of the appropriateness of a new organizational practice moves along with society- wide legitimation as entrepreneurs are embedded in social contexts (see: Chell, 2000). Second if legitimacy of an organizational practice increases, institutional pressures on entrepreneurs to adopt the practice is likely to increase. Considering legitimation as a process, we pose that positive media around an organizational practice indicates advancement of its legitimation (see: Jonsson, Greve, & Fujiwara-Greve, 2009; Lamin & Zaheer, 2012; Morgan et al., 2011; Vaara & Monin, 2010) and increased institutional pressures on entrepreneurs’ adopting decisions. In other words, we argue that media plays an important role in the process of legitimation and the diffusion of new organizational practices.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages16
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2017
    Event25th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2017 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Duration: 21 Jun 201723 Jun 2017
    Conference number: 25

    Conference

    Conference25th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2017
    Abbreviated titleHTSF
    CountryNetherlands
    CityAmsterdam
    Period21/06/1723/06/17

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