Abstract

Most of research on entrepreneurial networks adhere to the inter-firm standpoints and focus on firm-level units of analysis. From this viewpoint, entrepreneurial network development is presented as an impersonal process inherent in a network (Johnsen & Ford, 2006; Hite & Hesterly, 2001). However, there is an essential difference between network as such and networking process (Wincent & Westerberg, 2005: 271). In fact, it is a person or a group of individuals that creates new business contacts or terminates them. Thus, when one investigates the issues of network building activities, the unit of analysis should be an individual entrepreneur or a founding team. In addition, numerous studies show that national context has strong impacts on entrepreneurial networking (Minniti, 2008; Jansson, et al. 2007). However, these interdependencies are described quite vaguely saying that a contextual milieu affects entrepreneurial behavior and exchange relations between businesses. Also, findings from these studies lack concrete comparative examples that illustrate the exact differences in networking patterns of entrepreneurs from different national contexts.

This piece of research aims to explore how national entrepreneurial environment influences the process of establishing new business contacts purposefully undertaken by a team of new venture founders through the use of their formal and informal relations.

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