In search of rigor, relevance, and legitimacy: what drives the impact of publications?

Miriam Flickinger, Anja Tuschke, Tina Gruber-Mücke, Marina Fiedler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we introduce the concept of legitimacy to the rigor-relevance debate and investigate empirically how rigor, relevance, and legitimacy are related to the process of knowledge dissemination within a research field. We argue that this analysis has been a missing piece in the debate on rigor and relevance when institutional logics about what constitutes both elements lead researchers to act according to what they perceive to be appropriate behavior in the research field. We draw on insights from the micro and macro levels of institutional theory to show how researchers aiming to bestow legitimacy on their own work conform to these “rules of the game”. Using meta-analytical techniques, we focus on the field of strategic entrepreneurship and analyze how rigor- and relevance-related characteristics of studies in this field are linked to their legitimacy and therefore to the impact they have in the research community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-128
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Business Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Citation rates
  • Legitimacy
  • Relevance
  • Rigor


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