HBS Working Knowledge writes:
Assistant professor Mukti Khaire believes that small companies can grow by developing intangible social resources such as legitimacy, status, and reputation. In an interesting twist, her research on this insight is that these intangible resources may be best acquired by following a road of conformity in how your company is organized and presented to the outside world. Conventional business titles such as Marketing Director are much better than Chief Evangelist. Organizationally, a hierarchical structure will be much better understood and accepted by outsiders than a flat, decentralized decision-making structure.
These social resources are acquired by mimicking the structures and activities of established firms, and by affiliating with high-status customers respectively, she wrote in the abstract to her recent paper, Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow: Strategies for New Venture Growth.