Abstract

Whether made or found (Ardichvili, Cardozo & Ray, 2003), opportunities are not obvious to everyone (Shane, 2000). Idiosyncratic connections and social networking capabilities often create a “knowledge corridor” which facilitates the identification of some opportunities while at the same time inhibits the recognitions of others. We explore the micro-processes of opportunity recognition in dynamic stakeholder networks by asking whether and how relationally embedded entrepreneurs may have an advantage over isolated ones. Prior studies suggest that access to unique stakeholders often provides novel information, alternative viewpoints and distinct interpretative lenses (Hart & Sharma, 2004; Shane & Cable, 2002). Entrepreneurs often leverage network ties to more effectively discover and harness new opportunities (Baron & Markman, 2003; Larson, 1992; Steier, 2000). The deliberate crafting of strategic networks (Hite, 2005) may help entrepreneurs leverage positive asymmetries or compensate negative ones (Miller, 2003; Makadok, 2001), correct experience-laden blinders, and promote the use of cold and hot analogies (Thagard & Shelley, 2001).

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