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Social Capital and Entrepreneurship

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  • Kim, Phillip H.
  • Aldrich, Howard E.
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    Abstract

    We offer a critical review of the concepts and principles of social capital and social networks as applied to entrepreneurship. Our review is intended for junior scholars and graduate students in the field of entrepreneurship who wish to learn the basic vocabulary of social network and social capital analyses. We illustrate several interesting research questions and a toolbox of methods to answer them. First, we use a popular new website, Friendster, to show the potential power of social capital accessed via social networks. Then, we show that the potential of social networks often cannot be realized because of various socio-cultural constraints. Taking account of these constraints, we offer three empirical generalizations about social networks and show how the concepts of homophily, social boundaries, and bounded rationality provide a framework for understanding the observations. As we discuss each generalization, we discuss some well-established theoretical contributions and empirical findings from the social capital and social networks literatures. Throughout the text we explain various research designs for studying social networks and issues raised in trying to use them. We conclude by noting the tension between the properties of social networks used in entrepreneurship researchers' models and the limited perspective on networks available to practicing entrepreneurs.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/0300000002
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by now publishers in its journal Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship.

    Volume (Year): 1 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 55-104

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    Handle: RePEc:now:fntent:0300000002

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    Web page: http://www.nowpublishers.com/

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    Cited by:
    1. Kuechle, Graciela, 2014. "Regional concentration of entrepreneurial activities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 59-73.
    2. Obschonka, Martin & Silbereisen, Rainer K. & Schmitt-Rodermund, Eva & Stuetzer, Michael, 2010. "Nascent entrepreneurship and the developing individual: Early entrepreneurial competence in adolescence and venture creation success during the career," MPRA Paper 32021, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 21 Dec 2010.
    3. Goethner, Maximilian & Obschonka, Martin & Silbereisen, Rainer K. & Cantner, Uwe, 2012. "Scientists’ transition to academic entrepreneurship: Economic and psychological determinants," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 628-641.
    4. Audretsch, David B. & Bönte, Werner & Tamvada, Jagannadha Pawan, 2013. "Religion, social class, and entrepreneurial choice," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 774-789.
    5. Niels Bosma & Ingrid Verheul & Jolanda Hessels & Mirjam van Praag & Veronique Schutjens, 2011. "Entrepreneurship and Role Models," Scales Research Reports H201017, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    6. Jack, Sarah L., 2010. "Approaches to studying networks: Implications and outcomes," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 120-137, January.

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