An Ethnographic Study of New Venture and New Sector Legitimation: Evidence from Moldova

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This study explores the process of legitimation of international new ventures from an emerging economy and the effect such ventures have on the process of creation and legitimation of a new industry in that economy. It is a longitudinal ethnographic case study. Following an inductive theory building approach, data were collected over an eleven year period via in-depth interviews, participant observations, and unobtrusive data. The study puts forward a process model of new industry legitimation. The model theorizes the process of change from an initial condition in which an industry does not exist to a final condition in which it is institutionalized. The model addresses the case where the initial catalyst is the formation of an international new venture that is the seed for the birth of the industry. Since both the new venture and the new industry lack cognitive and socio-political legitimacies, the model theorizes temporal emergence of these at organizational and industry levels, leading ultimately to institutionalization. The authors advocate for further research at the intersection between legitimation, international entrepreneurship and emerging markets in order to further advance the emergent theory.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Emerging Markets
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)72 - 88
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

The paper received "EMERALD Highly commended 2017 award for excellence"


  • Legitimacy
  • Early internationalization
  • Emerging markets
  • Industry studies
  • Emerging economies
  • Ethnography
  • Theory building


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