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Building networks into discovery: The link between entrepreneur network capability and entrepreneurial opportunity discovery

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  • Shu, Rui
  • Ren, Shenggang
  • Zheng, Yi

Abstract

Social networking is increasingly important to entrepreneurs because it can help them to recognize valuable opportunities. A model of entrepreneur network capability concerning the agent role of nascent entrepreneurs in developing and managing social networks, which is further related to entrepreneurial opportunity discovery, is proposed in this study. Drawing on the tie generation and network management literature, we propose entrepreneur network capability as a four-dimensional construct, including network orientation, network building, network maintenance, and network coordination. A sample of 212 nascent Chinese entrepreneurs collected at two time points supported the positive relationship between network capability and opportunity discovery after controlling for entrepreneurs' prior knowledge, cognitive bias, and political skills. Further, the relationship was found to be mediated by enhanced network configuration (i.e., network centrality) and moderated by entrepreneurs' power distance orientations. Entrepreneurs' network capability exerted a stronger effect on opportunity discovery for those of low power distance. The implications of our findings are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Shu, Rui & Ren, Shenggang & Zheng, Yi, 2018. "Building networks into discovery: The link between entrepreneur network capability and entrepreneurial opportunity discovery," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 197-208.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:85:y:2018:i:c:p:197-208
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.12.048
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