Cultural Entrepreneurship: Stories, Legitimacy and the Acquisition of Resources

Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 22, pp. 545-564, 2001

20 Pages Posted: 4 May 2011

See all articles by Michael Lounsbury

Michael Lounsbury

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Date Written: 2001

Abstract

We define cultural entrepreneurship as the process of storytelling that mediates between extant stocks of entrepreneurial resources and subsequent capital acquisition and wealth creation. We propose a framework that focuses on how entrepreneurial stories facilitate the crafting of a new venture identity that serves as a touchstone upon which legitimacy may be conferred by investors, competitors, and consumers, opening up access to new capital and market opportunities. Stories help create competitive advantage for entrepreneurs through focal content shaped by two key forms of entrepreneurial capital: firm-specific resource capital and industry-level institutional capital. We illustrate our ideas with anecdotal entrepreneurial stories that range from contemporary high technology accounts to the evolution of the mutual fund industry. Propositions are offered to guide future empirical research based on our framework. Theoretically, we aim to extend recent efforts to synthesize strategic and institutional perspectives by incorporating insights from contemporary approaches to culture and organizational identity.

Suggested Citation

Lounsbury, Michael, Cultural Entrepreneurship: Stories, Legitimacy and the Acquisition of Resources (2001). Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 22, pp. 545-564, 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1830380

Michael Lounsbury (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

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