An examination of the role of social networks in the commercialization of entrepreneurial innovations

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

Through the extension of Seibert, Kraimer, and Liden's (2001) social capital framework to the field of entrepreneurship, this paper develops and tests a theoretical model focusing on how an entrepreneur's social network structure and resources combine to impact the commercialization attempts of entrepreneurs regarding their innovative products and services. By drawing an analogy between an entrepreneur's social network and an organization's absorptive capacity, the model I propose predicts how the structure of an entrepreneur's social network and the resources embedded within that network may lead to the acquisition of essential resources and information, and ultimately, impacting the successful commercialization of their opportunity. This model bridges a gap in the entrepreneurship literature by testing long standing beliefs and assumptions regarding the role of social networks, including that a large network is always better and weak ties are necessarily more beneficial than strong ties.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation