Although the literature addressing entrepreneurial networking is reaching a fairly high degree of sophistication and scope, there are certain critical areas where important questions remain unanswered. Specifically, research into the processes of entrepreneurial networking has been hindered by a paucity of longitudinal studies. Thus, the consideration of change over time is de facto limited. Moreover, accounts of how individuals actually use networks to learn about entrepreneurship, its practices and processes remain sparse. Yet, we know that learning is a social process, so the research gap lies in relating networks, as social contexts to the entrepreneurial learning process. Furthermore, since social relations are fundamental to everyone's life, and emerge, develop and change throughout their life course, people are embedded in social situations that put them in touch with others (Kim & Aldrich, 2005). Consequently, learning is often “located in the relations among actors” (Uzzi & Lancaster, 2003, p. 398). As well as direct learning through network contacts, network transitivity also facilitates learning by one embedded network member, through the knowledge held by a second member, about a third, as shown in Uzzi and Gillespie's (2002) study. Accordingly, in many ways how entrepreneurs go about using their networks and with whom they network may be critical for entrepreneurship and thus warrants investigation. It is to this end that we now consider the shape, content and process of entrepreneurial networking.
Drakopoulou Dodd, S., Jack, S. and Anderson, A. (2006), "The Mechanisms and Processes of Entrepreneurial Networks: Continuity and Change", Wiklund, J., Dimov, D., Katz, J.A. and Shepherd, D.A. (Ed.) Entrepreneurship: Frameworks And Empirical Investigations From Forthcoming Leaders Of European Research (Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 107-145. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1074-7540(06)09005-2Download as .RIS
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