Handbook of Research Methods on Social Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research Methods on Social Entrepreneurship

Edited by Richard Seymour

Defining ‘social entrepreneurship’ has in the past proved problematic, and debate continues concerning what it does and does not entail and encompass. This unique book frames the debates surrounding the phenomenon and argues that many of the difficulties relating to the study of social entrepreneurship are rooted in methodological issues. Highlighting these issues, the book sets out ideas and implications for researchers using alternative methodologies.
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Chapter 7: Social Network Analysis

Cynthia Webster and Jennifer Ruskin


Cynthia Webster and Jennifer Ruskin Networks are fundamental to social entrepreneurship. Access to knowledge and resources; opportunities for collaboration; issues of trust, power and choice – all these involve more than simple dyadic relationships; most are embedded in networks of relationships. So realising when and to what extent to make use of personal and professional networks can be the decisive factor in success for many social ventures. Accordingly, more and more academic research is being directed towards understanding the value of networks to entrepreneurship. For example, Jack (2010) recently reviewed the entrepreneurial literature and identified 71 articles on networks published from 1995 to 2005. Many of the early studies focus on: ● ● ● evolution, growth and performance (Donckels and Lambrecht, 1995; Hite and Hesterly, 2001; Larson, 1991; Larson and Starr, 1993; Lee and Tsang, 2001); network characteristics (Birley, 1985; Chell and Baines, 2000; Özcan, 1995); and social capital (Cooke and Wills, 1999; Davidsson and Honig, 2003; Honig, 1998). Not surprisingly, these areas continue to be of research interest today (Milanov and Fernhaber, 2009; Pirolo and Presutti, 2010; Wu et al., 2008; De Carolis et al., 2009; Kor and Sundaramurthy, 2009; Molina-Morales and Martãnez-Fernãndez, 2010). The real explosion of network research in entrepreneurship during the five years since 2006 has been in three key areas: ● ● ● Opportunity identification and innovation (Bhagavatula et al., 2010; Gellynck et al., 2007; Hingley et al., 2010; Ozgen and Baron, 2007). Internationalization and collaboration (Al-Laham and Souitaris, 2008; Belso-Martínez, 2006; Gellynck et al., 2007; Kariv et al...

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