Social Capital of Entrepreneurs and Small Firm Performance: A Meta-Analysis of Contextual and Methodological Moderators

57 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2013 Last revised: 28 Feb 2013

See all articles by Wouter Stam

Wouter Stam

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Souren Arzlanian

VU University Amsterdam

Tom Elfring

VU University Amsterdam

Date Written: January 23, 2013

Abstract

Despite a surge of studies examining the role of social capital in the entrepreneurial process, no quantitative assessments exist of the empirical evidence to date. To resolve seemingly conflicting results, we conducted a meta-analysis of the link between entrepreneurs’ personal networks and small firm performance and identify new moderators affecting this relationship. Analyses of 61independent samples indicated that the social capital — performance link was positive and significant (rc=.211). Effect sizes of weak ties were smaller than those of structural holes, while network diversity had the largest positive effect on performance. Results also showed that the social capital — performance link depends on the age of small firms, the industry and institutional contexts in which they operate, and on the specific network or performance measures used. Based on these findings, we develop recommendations for future research on the contingent value of social capital for small firms.

Keywords: social capital, networks, entrepreneurs, small firms, firm performance, meta-analysis

Suggested Citation

Stam, Wouter and Arzlanian, Souren and Elfring, Tom, Social Capital of Entrepreneurs and Small Firm Performance: A Meta-Analysis of Contextual and Methodological Moderators (January 23, 2013). Journal of Business Venturing, Forthcoming , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2206041

Wouter Stam (Contact Author)

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology ( email )

Clear Water Bay
Hong Kong, -
Hong Kong

Souren Arzlanian

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

Tom Elfring

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

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