Til bevillingsoversigt

Entrepreneurial networks: The individual strikes back (EntNet)

The Carlsberg Foundation's 'Semper Ardens' Fellowships within the Humanities and Social Sciences

What

The purpose of my Semper Ardens project is to write a co-authored book that melts together our insight on entrepreneurial networks by analysing the antecedents, mechanisms and consequences of network agency for entrepreneurial output, in comparison with network structure. We intent to develop a conceptual framework and research agenda that elaborates and extends entrepreneurial network agency's theoretical and methodological reach, including providing suggestions for future research. Ultimately, our goal is: • To produce a conceptual framework and research agenda that both distinguishes and integrates network agency and network structure • To synthesise and propose novel theory that galvanises a community of entrepreneurship scholars to develop and empirical investigate network agency.

Why

Our book is ground-breaking, because it de-socialises our understanding of networks in a way that dramatically challenges the prior dominating deterministic network structure perspective, links academia and entrepreneurial practice, and finally enables more applicable conclusions. So far, there is no systematic knowledge on the emerging shift from focusing on network structure to focusing on network agency; neither is there a proper defined conceptual framework and research agenda to inform, structure, and harmonise future studies on network agency in entrepreneurship.

How

This co-authored book is a research agenda setting book that is conceptual by nature and is organised around three network mechanisms: • Discovery/creation of opportunities: How entrepreneurs create and rely on networks to discover and create new business opportunities that can be transformed into sustainable businesses. • Securing of resources: How entrepreneurs create and rely on network to obtain resources; ranging from advice, emotional support, help and assistance to financial support, etc. • Gaining legitimacy: How entrepreneurs create and rely on third parties in networks to gain legitimacy for their businesses that would otherwise suffer from liabilities of both smallness and newness.

SSR

In the long term, this project is beneficial for society, not at least the entrepreneurship community including entrepreneurs themselves, because it bridges academia and practice. Previously, the dominating focus in academia with regards to social networks has been to identify how an 'effective network structure' looks like in terms of size, density, centrality, etc. However, the focus in academia about the importance of network structure is not at all shared by entrepreneurs. In contrast, entrepreneurs focus on 'how to build' an effective network. Therefore, bridging the academic focus on networks as structure and the entrepreneurs' focus on how to build networks is important to move society and entrepreneurship communities forward.