Gerald E. Hills Award


Raghunath Singh Rao, Rajesh K. Chandy and Jaideep C. Prabhu have won the AMA Entrepreneurial Marketing SIG's 2018 award for their 2008 article in the J Mar

AMA Entrepreneurial Marketing SIG

2018 Gerald E. Hills Best Paper Award


The Gerald E. Hills Award Best Paper on Entrepreneurial Marketing award is presented annually to the author(s) of the “best paper” who have made a significant impact on the marketing/entrepreneurship interface research. The domain of nominated articles would be papers published in the previous 10 years in any refereed publication. After a thorough review of candidate papers by this year’s selection committee, we are very pleased to announce the winners:



The Fruits of Legitimacy:

Why Some New Ventures Gain More from Innovation than Others


Raghunath Singh RaoRajesh K. ChandyJaideep C. Prabhu

Journal of Marketing, 2008, 72 (4), 58-75


This article examines rewards to product introduction by new ventures. The authors argue that the new ventures that gain the most from innovation are those that adopt strategies that give them legitimacy in the eyes of stakeholders. New ventures can gain legitimacy by creating associations with established entities; such associations can be internal or external to the firm. The authors test these ideas by examining the stock market gains of all products introduced between 1982 and 2002 by all public firms in the U.S. biotechnology industry. The results show that new ventures that acquire legitimacy externally by forming alliances with established firms gain more from their new products than new ventures that do not form such alliances. Among new ventures that do not form alliances, those that acquire legitimacy internally by creating a history of product launches or by hiring reputed executives or scientists gain more from their new products than those that do not. In relative terms, it pays more to have introduced a new drug before than to have a reputed executive on the firm’s board; in turn, adding a reputed executive pays more than adding a reputed scientist to the firm’s board. Finally, although new ventures can gain from either external or internal legitimacy, pursuit of external legitimacy by firms that already have internal legitimacy leads to lower rewards to innovation.


2018 Hills Best Paper Award selection committee:

Yinghong Susan Wei (Chair), Texas A&M International University

Abdul Ali, Babson College

Maija Renko, the University of Illinois at Chicago


About the Gerald E. Hills Best Paper Award

Gerald (Gerry) E. Hills is widely recognized for his research and expertise in entrepreneurial marketing, especially for his work on opportunity recognition. In addition, Gerry initiated and continues to organize a symposium on entrepreneurial marketing since the eighties. In fact, Gerry was one of the AMA leaders who initiated the Special Interest Group concept. The Entrepreneurial Marketing SIG is pleased to present the best paper award in recognition of Gerry’s lifetime contributions to the field.

Previous Award winners:



2017: Justin W Webb (the University of North Carolina at Charlotte), R Duane Ireland (Texas A&M University), Michael A Hitt (Texas Christian University), Geoffrey M Kistruck (York University), Laszlo Tihanyi (Texas A&M University): “Where is the Opportunity without the Customer? An Integration of Marketing Activities, the Entrepreneurship Process, and Institutional Theory,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 2011, 39 (4), 537-554.

2016: Diane M. Martin (Aalto University) and John Schouten (Aalto University): “Consumption-Driven Market Emergence, Journal of Consumer Research, 2014, 40 (5 ), 855-870.

2015: Stuart Read (IMD Lausanne), Nicholas Dew (Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey), Saras Sarasvathy (University of Virginia), Michael Song (University of Missouri), and Robert Wiltbank (Willamette University): "Marketing Under Uncertainty – The Logic of an Effectual Approach," Journal of Marketing, 2009, 73 (3), 1-18.

2014: Marc Gruber (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), Ian C. MacMillan (University of Pennsylvania) and James D. Thompson (University of Pennsylvania): “Look Before You Leap: Market Opportunity Identification in Emerging Technology Firms,” Management Science, 2008, 54(9), 1652-1664.

2013: Nicole E. Coviello (Wilfrid Laurier University) for "Network Dynamics in the International New Venture," Journal of International Business Studies, 2006, 37(5), 713-731.

2012: Michael H. Morris (Oklahoma State University), Minet Schindehutte (Syracuse University), and Raymond W. Laforge (University of Louisville) for “Entrepreneurial Marketing: A Construct for Integrating Emerging Entrepreneurship and Marketing Perspectives,” Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 2002, Fall, 1-18.

2011: Ken Matsuno (Babson College), Tom Mentzer (University of Tennessee), and Aysegul Ozsomer (Koc University) for "The Effects of Entrepreneurial Proclivity and Market Orientation on Business Performance," Journal of Marketing, 2002, 66(3), 18-33.

2010: Helena Yli-Renko (University of Southern California), Erkko Autio (Imperial College), and Harry J. Sapienza (University of Minnesota) for "Social Capital, Knowledge Acquisition, and Knowledge Exploitation in Young Technology-Based Firms," Strategic Management Journal, 2001, (22), 587-613.

Inaugural 2009 award: Saras Sarasvathy (University of Virginia) for "Causation and Effectuation: Toward a Theoretical Shift from Economic Inevitability to Entrepreneurial Contingency," Academy of Management Review, 2001, (2), 243-263.   

2019 Nomination Deadline:

Please email your nomination with a one-page statement of endorsement to Can Uslay (AMA EM SIG Chair) or Susan Wei (VC Research) by April 1, 2019. Self-nominations (for up to two articles) are also acceptable.

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