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Change and the development of entrepreneurial networks over time: a processual perspective

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  • Sarah Jack
  • Sarah Drakopoulou Dodd
  • Alistair R. Anderson

Abstract

Although it is now well established that networks contribute to entrepreneurship by extending the individual entrepreneurial asset base of human, social, market, financial and technical capacity, little work, empirical or theoretical, has examined the dynamics of networking processes in a temporal framework. Drawing on evidence from three longitudinal case studies of entrepreneurs operating in the oil industry in the North East of Scotland, this paper presents an extensive empirical investigation into network transformation over time. We are thus able to chart networks in their historical contingency. This chronological lens allows us to view patterns in network continuity and change and enables us to develop a rich conceptual framework. The study demonstrates that networks are vital living organisms, changing, growing and developing over time. Yet set in their history, networks are much more than an extension of the entrepreneurial asset base. Our data shows how a reconceptualization of the nature of networking is called for; one which privileges an understanding of the relational dynamic as a structural configuration representing the social construction of the entrepreneurial environment. Thus our conceptualization proposes that networks actually create the environment, as it is understood and operated by the entrepreneur, and that consequently the networking process is the enactment of the environment.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/08985620701645027
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Entrepreneurship & Regional Development.

Volume (Year): 20 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 125-159

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Handle: RePEc:taf:entreg:v:20:y:2008:i:2:p:125-159

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Cited by:
  1. Christopher Hayter, 2013. "Conceptualizing knowledge-based entrepreneurship networks: perspectives from the literature," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 899-911, December.
  2. Jack, Sarah L., 2010. "Approaches to studying networks: Implications and outcomes," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 120-137, January.
  3. Chris Steyaert & Hans Landström, 2011. "Enacting entrepreneurship research in a pioneering, provocative and participative way: on the work of Bengt Johannisson," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 123-134, February.
  4. Hamrila A. Latip & Kosmas X. Smyrnios, 2012. "Network Relationships For Business Sustainability: A Case Study In National Entrepreneurship Development," Journal of Global Entrepreneurship, Global Research Agency, vol. 3(1), pages 91-106, July.
  5. Kalm, Matias, 2012. "The Impact of Networking on Firm Performance - Evidence from Small and Medium-Sized Firms in Emerging Technology Areas," Discussion Papers 1278, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  6. Manuela Presutti & Cristina Boari & Antonio Majocchi, 2013. "Inter-organizational geographical proximity and local start-ups' knowledge acquisition: a contingency approach," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(5-6), pages 446-467, June.

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