Edited by Kevin Hindle and Kim Klyver
Chapter 9: Social Networks and New Venture Creation: The Dark Side of Networks
Kim Klyver, Majbritt Rostgaard Evald and Kevin Hindle INTRODUCTION Since the beginning of the 1970s there has been an increased focus on social networks in a wide variety of organizational research. This has resulted in exponential growth of publications in the area (Borgatti and Foster 2003). In their review of social networks in organizational research, Borgatti and Foster (2003) argue that attention mostly has been directed toward positive consequences of network structure, rather than causes. This might be due to many reasons, but most likely this has to be due to the fact that the field is young and has strong aims to achieve legitimacy. The close association between social networks and social capital might also explain a possibly excessive attention to positive aspects. Social capital is often argued to be the value created and stored in social networks, and often social capital studies seek to explain variation in performance as a function of social network composition. Thus this focus has caused a sometimes undue fascination with the positive aspects of social networks. It may be argued that most studies so far have focused relatively more on positive opportunities provided by network structure rather than network constraints (Adler and Kwon 2002). One important ‘spillover’ effect of an overly sanguine view of what social networks contribute concerns research in new venture creation in the entrepreneurship field. Research into new venture creation has focused predominantly on which activities a single entrepreneur or team of entrepreneurs are creating in the process of new...
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