ORGANISATIONAL LEGITIMACY STRATEGIES IN A CONTEMPORARY WORLD: AN INVESTIGATION OF ENTREPRENEURS’ USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA TO GAIN AND MAINTAIN LEGITIMACY.

Gumbo, Ruvimbo (2012) ORGANISATIONAL LEGITIMACY STRATEGIES IN A CONTEMPORARY WORLD: AN INVESTIGATION OF ENTREPRENEURS’ USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA TO GAIN AND MAINTAIN LEGITIMACY. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The advent of Internet has had a tremendous impact on the world as we once new it thirty years ago. Internet has become an essential part of the modern individual’s life changing the way they bank, shop and even date thus enabling numerous new opportunities. The internet has also changed the way businesses’ attract and communicate with their customers, thus even the smallest to largest organisation have felt the indelible impact of this new communication platform. What enables the Internet to have such far-reaching effects is its ability to unite millions of individuals across the globe at a little or no cost through various social media. Social media is basically a broad range of online applications that facilitate the sharing of text, photos and information with ease. Due to these mediums, most consumers are fully informed and customers have become extremely powerful because they have a platform to share the information they have with the entire world in a matter of seconds.

On the other hand, novel businesses require legitimacy in order to acquire resources and survive. Given the growth of social media into a legitimate communication platform, this study aimed to shed some light on how entrepreneurs use it to gain and maintain legitimacy and also whether their use of social media is effective. Legitimacy is the acceptance of an organisation by society.

This study included both primary and secondary research methods. For the secondary research, a wide range of research articles and books related to social media and legitimacy where analysed to identify gaps in the research. On the other hand, seven entrepreneurial ventures were selected for primary purposes. Face to face interviews were conducted with the participants to obtain information regarding their business, use of social media and other necessary information. The entrepreneur’s where selected from various industries in order have a more representative sample.

The findings revealed that the legitimacy strategies implemented by entrepreneurial organisations are influenced by the founding entrepreneurs’ desire for personal recognition and career progression. Despite this desire for recognition it was also interesting to find that the entrepreneurs did not leverage their personal legitimacy in their ventures quest for legitimacy but instead emphasised their distinction from their ventures. In terms of the effectiveness of their use, the findings suggest that entrepreneurs use of social media for legitimacy acquisition is limited by their beliefs that social media is a cost effective marketing tool. In accordance with prior studies their lack of understanding of social media and its various forms results in the ineffective use of its applications. Finally, the findings suggest that organisations do not measure or assess their use of social media formally because they do not invest in it financially. Social media continues to change the way we do things, it is important that business organisations especially, novel entrepreneurs, enhance their understanding of its various applications and forms in order to capitalise on all its benefits.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2013 13:13
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2016 03:34
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/26234

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