Market Mediators and the Trade-offs of Legitimacy-Seeking Behaviors in a Nascent Category
Brandon H Lee, Shon R Hiatt, Michael Lounsbury
ORGANIZATION SCIENCE | INFORMS | Published : 2017
Although existing research has demonstrated the importance of attaining legitimacy for new market categories, few scholars have considered the trade-offs associated with such actions. Using the U.S. organic food product category as a context, we explore how one standards-based certification organization-the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)-sought to balance efforts to legitimate a nascent market category with retaining a shared, distinctive identity among its members. Our findings suggest that legitimacy-seeking behaviors undertaken by the standards organization diluted the initial collective identity and founding ethos of its membership. However, by shifting the meaning of "organ..View full abstract
The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at London Business School.