The New Food Truck in Town: Geographic Communities and Authenticity-Based Entrepreneurship

Published: 24 March 2021

Authors: T. Schifeling and Daphne Demetry

Publication: Organization Science, Volume 32, Issue 1, January 2021, Pages 133-155.


Authenticity is a valuable attribution for organizations, but one that raises a challenge of audience acceptance for innovative entrepreneurs. In particular, organizations that depart from an established type risk being judged as inauthentic. However, entrepreneurs may be able to overcome this challenge by basing their authenticity on notions of craft—such as skilled hands-on techniques, sophisticated ingredients, and small-scale artistry rather than mass industrial manufacturing—that better support innovation. We propose that communities vary in the extent to which they embrace craft production as an evolved understanding of authenticity that is less concerned with conformity to type. This local context, in turn, conditions the likelihood of entrepreneurs creating innovative ventures that rely on perceptions of craft authenticity. We develop this argument through a mixed-methods study of the spatially uneven emergence of gourmet food trucks across the United States. Our findings contribute to research on authenticity and the geography of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Desautels 22

In recognition of research excellence as it relates to publications in top-tier management journals, our Faculty has compiled a list of high quality, peer-reviewed management journals, which is referred to as the Desautels 22.


For more information or if you would like to report an error, please web.desautels [at] (subject: Website%20News%20Comments) (contact us).

Back to top