Abstract

Despite the widely shared belief that networks are essential to organizational emergence, the central propositions of network theory have received less than compelling support in an entrepreneurial context (Hoang & Antoncic 2003). In response, we conduct an empirical analysis of emerging organizations in order to arrive at answers to the following research questions: (1) can entrepreneurs create new organizations by relying on their existing social networks, or must the entrepreneur enlarge that network during the gestation period and (2) how does the nature of an entrepreneur’s social network (such as its content, governance, and/or structure) affect the likelihood that the organization will emerge and the necessity of networking activity? The results of our analysis suggests that (1) while initial the structure of the network is not predictive of emergence, the content is and (2) that the benefit of any increase in the size of the network may be moderated by the initial structure (size and tie strength) and content of the network. We believe that these findings can inform both academics seeking to corroborate network theory in an entrepreneurial context as well as practitioners faced with the daunting task of creating a new organization with limited resources.

Share

COinS