Small Business Economics

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 409–422 | Cite as

Networks in Entrepreneurship: The Case of High-technology Firms

  • Tom Elfring
  • Willem Hulsink


The value of networks as an integral part of the explanation of entrepreneurial success is widely acknowledged. However, the network perspective does not specify the role of networks in the emergence and early growth of a venture. We have distinguished three entrepreneurial processes in new venture development, i.e. discovery of opportunities, securing resources, and obtaining legitimacy, which are of importance for survival and performance. This paper examines how these processes are influenced by strong and/or weak ties and whether the degree of innovation (incremental versus radical) acts as a contingency factor in the way network ties support entrepreneurial processes. In this explorative study three cases on high technology firms in The Netherlands provide empirical material enabling us to develop a number of propositions on the network effect, in particular the mix of strong and weak ties, on the three entrepreneurial processes.


Explorative Study Early Growth Industrial Organization High Technology Network Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Elfring
    • 1
  • Willem Hulsink
    • 2
  1. 1.Free University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Erasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands E-mail

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