Abstract

While scholars have pointed out the importance of external network ties for the survival and growth of new ventures, our understanding of how the structural embeddedness of new ventures in informal interorganizational networks may enable or constrain firm performance remains limited. Much work concentrates on interfirm alliances and thus underplays the importance of the informal ties of founding team members with different types of organizations such as small firms, large companies, and non-commercial organizations that operate in the same organizational field. In this paper we extend previous work by examining the relationship between network position of high-technology ventures in the informal social structure of an organizational field and new venture performance. More specifically, we draw on structural holes and brokerage theory and analyze the performance implications of four alternative brokerage strategies that new ventures may pursue in an organizational field.

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