It`s all about whom you know

by Johanna Mårtensson Bardeman

Institution: Kristianstad University
Year: 2014
Keywords: entrepreneur; entrepreneurial firms; networking; formal relationships; informal relationships; relations; Social Sciences; Samhällsvetenskap; Social Sciences; Economics and Business; Business Administration; Samhällsvetenskap; Ekonomi och näringsliv; Företagsekonomi; Degree of Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics; Ekonomprogrammet
Record ID: 1330132
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-12334


Networking among entrepreneurial firms is a widely researched and debated topic amongst academics; however, there are still research gaps. Most research is based on quantitative studies and researchers have called for more qualitative analysis to gain a deeper understanding in what impact networks have on entrepreneurial firms. The purpose with this dissertation is to explore in what way networks are important (or not) for small entrepreneurial firms, and if this changes over the firms’ development. The study has an interpretive philosophy and an exploratory research design. To collect data eight semi-structured interviews, with entrepreneurs in Kristianstad and the nearby area, were completed. The findings of this study are that networks look different for all entrepreneurial firms and the importance of different relationships changes over the firms’ life cycle. Informal relationships ( family and friends ) are important for the entrepreneur when it comes to encouragement and support, while formal relationships ( suppliers , employees , customers and other entrepreneurs ) contribute to the success of the firm by providing the entrepreneur with knowledge and advice.  The c onclusions, from the collected data, are that all relations are not of equal importance to all entrepreneurs. The importance depends on the entrepreneur’s personality and the industry the entrepreneur operates in. However, we found that the importance of talking to other entrepreneurs has grown and that the most important relationship seems to be with family and friends. The demarcations of this study are that only entrepreneurs in one area of one country were interviewed, also that a qualitative method was used; therefore, we cannot show any statistical proof of the findings.