Industry Event Participation and Network Brokerage Among Entrepreneurial Ventures
Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 47, No. 4, pp. 625-653
Posted: 30 Nov 2009 Last revised: 26 Apr 2010
Date Written: November 26, 2009
Despite the recognition that network brokerage is beneficial for entrepreneurial ventures, little is known about its antecedents. This study examines how participation in industry events (e.g., conferences) relates to entrepreneurs’ brokerage positions in informal industry networks and how these positions, in turn, impact new venture performance. Using a unique dataset of 45 events and subsequent network relations among entrepreneurs from 90 firms in the open source software industry, results indicate that (1) entrepreneurs who participated in heterogeneous events or who bridged between events with few common participants were more likely to be brokers, (2) the relationship between event bridging and brokerage was stronger for entrepreneurs with broader prior career experiences, and (3) network brokerage mediated the event participation ― performance link. It appears that events may limit structural opportunities for brokerage and that individual differences matter for exploiting these opportunities. Overall, this study increases understanding of how and when particular networking behaviors are beneficial for entrepreneurs.
Keywords: structural holes, social capital, entrepreneurial ventures, industry events
JEL Classification: M13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation