Business faculty represent an intriguing platform from which to examine the interplay between human capital theory and legitimacy. We examine a cohort of Canadian business school scholars over 10 years, through the theoretical framework of human capital and legitimacy to gain insight into how factors interact differently in their environment. We show the importance of both human capital and external legitimacy on faculty compensation, highlighting the role of movement as a partial mediator between general human capital (publication number and quality) and compensation, and as a full mediator between external legitimacy (journal editorship and editorial board membership) and compensation. In addition, we found that external legitimacy (journal editorship and professional roles) interacted with movement to impact faculty compensation. We make a unique theoretical contribution by examining how individuals' estimates of their knowledge and comparative value impacts individual compensation trajectories, and ultimately the business schools themselves. Our study has implications for the management of knowledge industries as well as for the curricula design of business schools.