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Entrepreneurial Process and Social Networks

Entrepreneurial Process and Social Networks

A Dynamic Perspective

Edited by Alain Fayolle, Sarah L. Jack, Wadid Lamine and Didier Chabaud

Entrepreneurship is undoubtedly a social process and creating a firm requires both the mobilization of social networks and the use of social capital. This book addresses the gap that exists between the need to take these factors into consideration and the understanding of how network relationships are developed and transformed across the venturing process.

Chapter 9: The role of family members in entrepreneurial networks: beyond the boundaries of the family firm

Alistair R. Anderson, Sarah L. Jack and Sarah Drakopoulou Dodd

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship


Research has traditionally concentrated on formal kin involvement in the family business. This study investigates if, to what extent and how entrepreneurs have capitalized on resources embedded in the family, but beyond the formal traditionally defined boundaries of the family firm. Employing both quantitative and qualitative approaches, the study finds that about one quarter of our sample’s entrepreneurial network ties were kin, and that most of these worked outside the formal family firm. These ties provided a range of very important resources, both professional and affective in nature. Such beneficial ties extend the family firm without incurring the typical hazards of external linkages.

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