Abstract

Explanations of social network development and its outcomes such as venture performance tend to overemphasize structural effects and neglect individual freedom and agency – although constrained by the existing situation – to shape their social embeddedness. Once entrepreneurs become embedded in networks, it becomes difficult to disentangle the influence of structure (i.e., relational and structural embeddedness) versus agency (i.e., human actions shaping embeddedness). By investigating the emergence of nascent entrepreneurial networks, in a fine- grained longitudinal study, we are able to provide insights into the relationship between agency, structure and nascent venture performance.

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