This work extends theory about entrepreneurship across formal and informal institutional boundaries. While research has identified formal, informal, and renegade economies, we introduce the concept of the controversial economy, defined as the set of legal but illegitimate (to some large groups) activities through which actors exploit opportunities. We explain the existence of the controversial economy, its prevalence, and provide examples. We explore how and why entrepreneurs may exploit opportunities in the controversial economy based on individual and opportunity-related attributes. Finally, we identify several theoretical perspectives and research questions as an initial research agenda for the controversial economy.
- Controversial economies