Institutional entrepreneurs co-creating new ventures and new industries: the case of Manitoba hemp food entrepreneurs and the hemp food industry
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This thesis explores the key processes involved in entrepreneurs co-creating a new industry while developing their new venture. To guide our analysis, this thesis will draw on institutional theory, which has increasingly provided important and relevant insights for entrepreneurial research. Specifically, the process of gaining legitimacy is seen as one of the fundamental steps for institutional entrepreneurs. This exploratory research will take an inductive qualitative design and draw on an in-depth case study of the Manitoba hemp food industry, from which a group of entrepreneurs co-created the hemp food industry in order to develop their own hemp food business. Based on the extant literature and analysis of data from the case, this thesis proposes the industry legitimation model and three propositions based on the hemp food industry legalization and commercialization. The model, among other things, proposes gaining cognitive legitimacy as the foundational step in creating a new industry.
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