Abstract

Most research on venture networks has taken static network relations and network structures as independent variables to explain success in new venture creation and performance. In this study we go one step back and look at the underlying network strategy of entrepreneurs To study the network strategy of entrepreneurs we draw on insights from literature on entrepreneurial networks (Batjargal & Liu, 2004) and literature on causation vs. effectuation (Sarasvathy, 2008; Sarasvathy & Dew, 2005). Based on these literatures we distinguish between more causal network strategies, by which entrepreneurs purposefully select network partners for their particular means; and more effectual network strategies, by which entrepreneurs use the available means of their existing network and expand their network incrementally upon that. We hypothesized that entrepreneurial network strategy has an impact on resource acquisition, which in turn influences new venture performance. In line with previous research on entrepreneurial networks and effectuation we furthermore hypothesize that the impact of network strategy is contingent upon the experience of the entrepreneur (e.g., Hite & Hesterly, 2001; Leenders & Gabbay, 1999).

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