Overcoming the Illegitimacy Discount: Cultural Entrepreneurship in the US Feature Film Industry

TitleOvercoming the Illegitimacy Discount: Cultural Entrepreneurship in the US Feature Film Industry
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsZhao E.Y, Ishihara M., Lounsbury M.
JournalOrganization Studies
Volume34
Issue12
Pagination1747-1776
Date PublishedDec
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0170-8406
Accession NumberWOS:000327234900001
Keywordsattention, categories, cultural entrepreneurship, DYNAMICS, film industry, french gastronomy, IDENTITY, impact, legitimacy, name, naming, product market, reputation, securities analysts
Abstract

How can organizations spanning institutionalized categories mitigate against the possibility of reduced attention by audiences? While there has been a good deal of research on the illegitimacy discount of category spanning, scant attention has been paid to how organizations might strategically address this potential problem. In this paper, we explore how the strategic naming of products might enhance audience attention despite the liabilities associated with category spanning. Drawing on a sample of films released in the United States market between 1982 and 2007, we analyze different naming strategies and show that names that simply signal familiarity are not potent enough to offset the illegitimacy discount, while names imbued with known reputations serve as a symbolic device that enhances audience attention to genre-spanning films.

DOI10.1177/0170840613485844