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Early Network Events in the Later Success of Chinese Entrepreneurs

Burt, Ronald S. and Opper, Sonja LU (2017) In Management and Organization Review 13(3). p.497-537
Abstract
We trace the social networks around Chinese entrepreneurs back to their firm's founding to learn about the role early events play in the later success of a business. We use name generator questions paired with career history questions to identify ‘event contacts’ missed by the usual focus on current business. We draw four conclusions from interviews with a large, stratified random sample of entrepreneurs: (1) Relations with event contacts stand out for guanxi qualities of high trust relatively independent of the surrounding network structure, and are critical to distinguishing more successful entrepreneurs from the less successful. (2) The substance of a significant event matters less than the fact that the entrepreneur deems it... (More)
We trace the social networks around Chinese entrepreneurs back to their firm's founding to learn about the role early events play in the later success of a business. We use name generator questions paired with career history questions to identify ‘event contacts’ missed by the usual focus on current business. We draw four conclusions from interviews with a large, stratified random sample of entrepreneurs: (1) Relations with event contacts stand out for guanxi qualities of high trust relatively independent of the surrounding network structure, and are critical to distinguishing more successful entrepreneurs from the less successful. (2) The substance of a significant event matters less than the fact that the entrepreneur deems it significant. (3) When family is turned to for support it is most likely at founding, but family is not the usual source of support at founding. Rather, entrepreneurs turn to people they have known for many years, typically people beyond the entrepreneur's family. (4) The transition from founding to first significant event stands out as distinctly consequential for later success. Entrepreneurs who turn for help on their first significant event to a person separate from, but especially close to, the founding contact are more successful in their business development. That early move is not visible in the later network around the entrepreneur. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Chinese management, entrepreneurship, guanxi, network events, social networks
in
Management and Organization Review
volume
13
issue
3
pages
41 pages
external identifiers
  • scopus:85032570326
DOI
10.1017/mor.2017.30
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a0a2d43b-f137-4eee-b33a-cf0d8b8233dc
date added to LUP
2017-09-13 15:45:46
date last changed
2017-11-12 04:35:10
@article{a0a2d43b-f137-4eee-b33a-cf0d8b8233dc,
  abstract     = {We trace the social networks around Chinese entrepreneurs back to their firm's founding to learn about the role early events play in the later success of a business. We use name generator questions paired with career history questions to identify ‘event contacts’ missed by the usual focus on current business. We draw four conclusions from interviews with a large, stratified random sample of entrepreneurs: (1) Relations with event contacts stand out for guanxi qualities of high trust relatively independent of the surrounding network structure, and are critical to distinguishing more successful entrepreneurs from the less successful. (2) The substance of a significant event matters less than the fact that the entrepreneur deems it significant. (3) When family is turned to for support it is most likely at founding, but family is not the usual source of support at founding. Rather, entrepreneurs turn to people they have known for many years, typically people beyond the entrepreneur's family. (4) The transition from founding to first significant event stands out as distinctly consequential for later success. Entrepreneurs who turn for help on their first significant event to a person separate from, but especially close to, the founding contact are more successful in their business development. That early move is not visible in the later network around the entrepreneur.},
  author       = {Burt, Ronald S. and Opper, Sonja},
  keyword      = {Chinese management,entrepreneurship,guanxi,network events,social networks},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {497--537},
  series       = {Management and Organization Review},
  title        = {Early Network Events in the Later Success of Chinese Entrepreneurs},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/mor.2017.30},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2017},
}