Abstract

Uncertainty constitutes a key concept for most entrepreneurship theories (McMullen & Shepherd, 2006). Entrepreneurs face challenges of not knowing about the right opportunity and resources for them in the future (Grossman et al., 2012), especially in high unstable and complex environments (Du et al., 2016; Peng & Zhou 2005) such as in transition economies, with uncertainty originating from lack of formal institutions (Puffer et al., 2010; Xin & Pearce, 1996), compared to more developed economies (Puffer et al., 2010). Network can help entrepreneurs to obtain information and resources and to identify opportunities (Engel et al., 2017; Stuart & Sorenson, 2007). Most studies assume that network-building activities are rational and strategic so that entrepreneurs build potentially useful contacts (Baker et al., 2003; Hallen & Eisenhardt, 2012; Vissa, 2012). Recently, scholars started to stress that entrepreneurs can engage in irrational networking behavior through effectuation, but we lack empirical evidence to explain the mechanisms through which irrational networking occur.

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