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The Influence of Entrepreneurs' Credentials and Impression Management Behaviors on Perceptions of New Venture Legitimacy

Authors

  • Brian G. Nagy,

    Corresponding author
    1. Business Management and Administration Department, Foster College of Business Administration at Bradley University, Peoria, IL, USA
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  • Jeffrey M. Pollack,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Management, Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond, Richmond, VA, USA
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  • Matthew W. Rutherford,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Management, School of Business at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA
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  • Franz T. Lohrke

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Entrepreneurship, Management and Marketing in the Brock School of Business at Samford University, Birmingham, AL, USA
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Brian G. Nagy, tel.: 309-677-2314; e-mail: bnagy@bradley.edu, to Jeffrey M. Pollack at jpollack@richmond.edu, to Matthew W. Rutherford at mwrutherford@vcu.edu, and to Franz T. Lohrke at ftlohrke@samford.edu.

Abstract

We examine how entrepreneurs' behaviors related to credentials and impression management (IM) impact perceptions of new venture (NV) legitimacy. Results from this experiment, as hypothesized, show that entrepreneurs' credentials and IM behaviors are positively related to legitimacy perceptions. Contrary to expectations, however, findings do not support either interaction hypothesis when credentials are high or low. We discuss how these findings illustrate the importance of entrepreneurs' behaviors during the NV creation process and outline multiple directions for future research.

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