Abstract

In this study, we combine a network agency explanation (e.g. Baron and Tang 2009) with a relational explanation of role expectations (Montgomery 1998) to gain insight into the circumstances under which network agency matters for accessing emotional support. Two new insights are added to the limited literature focusing on the notion human agency in entrepreneurial networks. First, the notion of ability as a component of human network agency is extended by the idea that a motivation component reflecting individuals’ impetus to interact purposefully with others also plays an important role in entrepreneurs accessing emotional support. Second, the notion of a universal influence of network agency is extended by the idea that network agency may be moderated by culturally defined expectations associated with role-relations (Biddle 1986; Montgomery 1998). That is, individuals arguably take on social-psychological roles (e.g., as a family member, friend, or businessperson) that moderate the effect of network ability and network motivation.

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