Title: Observing legitimacy building in the reproduction and promotion of an entrepreneurial elite: the Scottish 'entrepreneurial exchange', 1995-2015

Authors: Robert Smith; Lorraine Warren

Addresses: Scotland ' Deceased New Zealand

Abstract: Seldom are entrepreneurs considered as a collective phenomenon, although they form a privileged socio-economic elite with material resources and clout. From an organisational perspective, we know little about how successful entrepreneurs organise themselves to leverage collective legitimacy, nor the societal mechanisms used to achieve this. To operationalise this we examine the Scottish 'entrepreneurial exchange', a networking organisation for high net-worth entrepreneurs. Using close reading and observational techniques we interrogate the website to uncover legitimacy building mechanisms such as alignment, association and fraternity used by exchange members. Enacting collective mechanisms including fraternising, legitimates both the individual and the collective. We highlight the importance of collective elements of entrepreneurial identity and legitimacy building pointing to underlying social implications in further studying fraternal aspects of collective entrepreneurship.

Keywords: entrepreneurial elites; social organising; identity; collectives; legitimacy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBG.2022.127128

International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 2022 Vol.31 No.4, pp.478 - 499

Received: 24 Oct 2019
Accepted: 30 Oct 2019

Published online: 23 Nov 2022 *

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