Int. J. of Entrepreneurship and Small Business   »   2014 Vol.23, No.1/2



Title: Firms' collaboration networks benefitting innovation: embeddedness in high- and low-trust culture, Denmark and Iran


Authors: Mahya Bayat; Thomas Schøtt; Mohammad Reza Zali


Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Farshi Moghaddam St., Kargar Shomali St., 1439813141, Tehran, Iran
Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, University of Southern Denmark, Engstien 1, 6000 Kolding, Denmark
Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Farshi Moghaddam St., KargarShomali St., 1439813141, Tehran, Iran


Abstract: The proposition that a firm's networking provides social capital benefitting its innovation is commonly considered a universal in the sense that the effect is believed to be positive in every society and perhaps even equally strong. We hypothesise that benefit differs among societies, depending on a culture of trust, that benefit increases with trust. Our research design compares a high-trust society, Denmark and a low-trust society, Iran, with a sample of 646 firms. Hierarchical linear models corroborate our hypotheses. First, the level of innovation is higher in the high-trust society than in the low-trust society (also when controlling for characteristics of the firms and owner-managers). Second, networking promotes innovation in both countries (also when controlling for other conditions). Third, networking promotes innovation more in the high-trust society than in the low-trust society. This shows how firms' innovation is embedded in networking at micro-level and in culture at macro-level.


Keywords: collaborative networks; firm networking; collaboration; trust; innovation; hierarchical linear modelling; HLM; Global Entrepreneurship Monitor; GEM; social capital; entrepreneurial behaviour; entrepreneurs; Iran; Denmark; low-trust societies; high-trust societies; firm characteristics; owner-manager characteristics; low-trust cultures; high-trust cultures; culture; cultural differences.


DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2014.065313


Int. J. of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2014 Vol.23, No.1/2, pp.168 - 190


Available online: 21 Oct 2014



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