Title: Strong ties, personality, and legitimacy of entrepreneurs: the case of private physicians

Authors: Katherine Gundolf; Beate Cesinger; Mickaël Géraudel; Matthias Filser

Addresses: Montpellier Business School, 2300 Avenue des Moulins, 34185 Montpellier, France ' New Design University – Privatuniversität St. Pölten Mariazeller Straße 97a, 3100 St. Pölten, Austria ' University of Luxembourg, 162a Avenue de la Faïencerie, 1511 Luxembourg ' University of Liechtenstein, Fürst-Franz-Josef-Strasse, 9490 Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Abstract: Legitimacy is crucial for entrepreneurs. It is the cornerstone for creating relationships with stakeholders and mitigating resource constraints. But, other-referent legitimacy is also related to the cognitive image of individual legitimacy. Drawing on the identity-based model of legitimacy, we argue that personality traits (big five) and social capital (strong ties) of entrepreneurs impact self-perceived legitimacy of entrepreneurs. Based on survey data of 98 German private physicians, this paper examines antecedents of self-perceived legitimacy towards two main stakeholders: patients and peers. We find that high levels of agreeableness stimulate self-perceived legitimacy towards patients and peers, whereas openness to experience solely influences physicians' self-perceived legitimacy towards patients. In addition, our results highlight the contingent effect of personality traits by underlining the role of strong ties as a moderator of the relationship between personality traits and self-perceived legitimacy. By identifying these configurations we contribute to the literature on entrepreneurship with a refined perspective of antecedents of self-perceived legitimacy. Moreover, we give recommendations on how private physicians can benefit from two personality traits - agreeableness and openness to experience - and how they can manage weak and strong ties in order to diffuse their reputation.

Keywords: self-perceived legitimacy; personality traits; social capital; physicians.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2017.088638

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2017 Vol.9 No.4, pp.346 - 372

Available online: 04 Dec 2017 *

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