Institutional environments exert significant effects on organizational behavior, structure, strategy, governance, and process. To gain competitive advantage, managers are striving for legitimacy while maintaining efficiency. In line with this thinking, we propose the developmental process of institution-driven and legitimacy-embedded efficiency, and emphasize the confluence of legitimacy and efficiency in the context of business marketing. We then highlight several promising directions for further research on the development of institutional theory and its application in business marketing. Finally, we present a brief summary of each paper in this special issue. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.