Standing Out and Fitting In: Charting the Emergence of Certified B Corporations by Industry and Region
Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth, Vol. 19, Forthcoming
55 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2017 Last revised: 5 Mar 2018
Date Written: April 14, 2017
To fulfill their economic and social missions, it is imperative yet challenging for hybrid ventures to demonstrate legitimacy (fitting in) while simultaneously projecting distinctiveness (standing out). One important means for doing so is by adopting and promoting the recent B Corporation certification. Drawing on a comprehensive analysis of the emergence of this certification, we argue that when it comes to promoting their businesses, hybrid ventures should not adopt a one size fits all approach. Rather, their promotion strategies need to be adapted to their specific contexts. We theorize and develop a typology of certification promotion strategies for hybrid ventures based on the relative prevalence of other hybrid ventures in the same regions and industries. We close by articulating why the B Corp movement is a rich and underexplored context for scholarship on hybrid ventures, and highlight several promising future research directions.
Keywords: Social Entrepreneurship, Hybrid Organizations, Certifications, B Corporations, Legitimacy, Optimal Distinctiveness
JEL Classification: L31, L26, O35
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation