Abstract

When entrepreneurs launch new ventures, they must interact with a wide range of persons who are not initially in their existing social network. In order to do so, entrepreneurs must develop effective working relationships with these individuals—and quickly! Accomplishing these tasks requires a high level of social competence—the overall ability to get along well with other persons. To date, only one study has specifically examined whether social competence influences the success of new ventures (Baron & Markman, 2003). While these findings suggest that social competence is indeed related to entrepreneurs’ success, this previous research had several notable limitations. First, the measure of new venture success is limited in its scope and does not reflect all aspects of new venture growth and success. Second, entrepreneurs from only two industries were included in the sample. Third, no evidence on possible mediators of the impact of social competence was obtained. Finally, all companies sampled were located in the North America, thus leaving open, the question of whether similar results would be obtained in other cultures, too. The present research is designed to address these deficiencies.

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