The power of arguments: How entrepreneurs convince stakeholders of the legitimate distinctiveness of their ventures

Abstract Entrepreneurs gain positive evaluations when their stakeholders are convinced that a new venture is simultaneously legitimate and distinct. Prior research highlights that analogies are a powerful device for constructing such legitimate distinctiveness. We extend this work by providing a more comprehensive typology of arguments that, besides analogies, contains five additional arguments that entrepreneurs can use to gain legitimacy and support for their ventures. We use this rhetorical typology in turn to consider how the nature of the business concept associated with a new venture constrains the choice, and effects, of certain arguments. Our typology provides a base for future research on the micro-discursive processes through which entrepreneurs claim, and in turn achieve, legitimate distinctiveness for their ventures.

Journal or Publication:
Journal of Business Venturing
Ruben van Werven
Onno Bouwmeester
Joep Cornelissen
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