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PhD: The role of social capital in the entrepreneurial process

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch

Successful entrepreneurs are important for societies (Bessant et. al., 2015; Sarasvathy, 2014). Entrepreneurs value creation for societies is increasingly important and the success ratio is crucial (Kaveh, 2015; Zahara et. al. 2016), it is, therefore, imperative to determine issues that affect entrepreneurial failure or success. The research focus is the construct of the entrepreneurs’ personal contact network, identified as the five most important contacts that entrepreneurs confide with. The research investigates the influence of social capital, between entrepreneurs’ and their personal contact network in the knowledge development throughout the entrepreneurial process. The theoretical approach is constructionist and subjective, taking a development approach to opportunities and not the more common discovery approach. The thesis searches for in-depth understandings, and findings. The methodological approach is based on six longitudinal qualitative case studies over two year periods, commencing in 2000 through to 2015. . The research posits fundamental findings including: the uniqueness of both generalists and specialists in the personal contact network, respectively providing specific and conceptual knowledge, and that the network specialists are continuously replaced throughout the entrepreneurial process. Social capital is identified as a resource that should be given a focus equal to that of physical capital and human capital as it is a linchpin and an antecedent for acquiring knowledge to the entrepreneurial process. In addition, the social capital dimensions are posited to have a specific role, and also sequence, in the dynamic process of acquiring knowledge to the entrepreneurial process. The entrepreneurial process can be understood as two continuously interacting phases, one in value proposition clarity the other in the practiced knowledge routines, both interacting throughout the entrepreneurial process. Theoretically the research advances Burrel & Morgan (1979) paradigmatic framework to incorporate the entrepreneur, specialists and generalists and their knowledge development throughout the entrepreneurial process.  
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe role of social capital in the entrepreneurial process
Publication year26 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2018

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