Reaching and Acquiring Valuable Resources: The Entrepreneur's Use of Brokerage, Cohesion, and Embeddedness
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice (DOI: 10.1111/etap.12103) 2014
Posted: 8 Apr 2014 Last revised: 18 Sep 2014
Date Written: April 3, 2014
Entrepreneurs have two key aims in managing their ego-networks: extending reach to valuable resources and facilitating resource acquisition. This study provides a synthesis of the brokerage, cohesion, and embeddedness literatures to develop and present a multilevel theoretical framework and analytical model that treat both aims jointly. It makes three contributions. First, it highlights a trade-off that entrepreneurs face in allocating their available networking time and energy while pursuing these two aims. Second, it explores the central role of two types of embeddedness — relational and structural — in resolving this trade-off. Third, it helps entrepreneurs decide when to embed a particular dyadic connection relationally or structurally. We show that entrepreneurs can better balance their dual aim by structurally embedding some ties rather than trying to relationally embed all. The resultant network is one that meshes characteristics of brokerage and cohesive ego-network structures.
Keywords: social capital, entrepreneurship, network, analytical model, embeddedness
JEL Classification: O31, O32, M13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation