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Theorizing piratical innovation: Regulatory illegitimacy and firm growth

Nunan, Daniel and Di Domenico, MariaLaura (2018) Theorizing piratical innovation: Regulatory illegitimacy and firm growth Journal of Small Business Management.

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This article examines the growing phenomenon of firms in ‘winner takes all’ markets which adopt business models that prioritize exceptional levels of growth over other financial metrics. Often this growth results in firms breaking with regulatory norms, despite regulatory legitimacy being theorized as essential for resource acquisition in small firms. The article explores this apparent paradox. We propose piratical innovation as a firm level process built upon disrupting regulatory norms in a way that avoids negative legitimacy judgments. Extending labelling theory, we develop a conceptual model where piratical innovation blends a range of symbolic and substantive actions to enable these firms to maintain legitimacy amongst stakeholders, even when growth is underpinned by illegitimate acts. We conclude by considering the wider applicability of piratical innovation as a model for small firm growth, and the consequences for other firms which must compete against such innovations.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Nunan, Daniel
Di Domenico,
Date : 24 September 2018
DOI : 10.1111/jsbm.12466
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2018 International Council for Small Business
Uncontrolled Keywords : Firm growth; Labelling contest; Piratical innovation; Regulatory illegitimacy
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 05 Jun 2018 13:53
Last Modified : 03 Jun 2020 02:08

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