Title: Network behaviours, social capital, and organisational learning in high-growth entrepreneurial firms

Authors: Mathew Hughes, Robert E. Morgan, R. Duane Ireland, Paul Hughes

Addresses: Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road, Nottingham NG8 1BB, UK. ' Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Colum Drive, Cardiff CF10 3EU, UK. ' Mays Business School, Texas A&M University, 4113 TAMU, College Station, Texas 77843-4113, USA. ' The Business School, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK

Abstract: Despite recent conceptual and theoretical insights into social capital, little is known about the behaviours that generate social capital and how social capital influences organisational learning. The difficulty this gap creates for young entrepreneurial firms is that their managers understand little about how to strategically develop firm behaviour in an effort to create social capital, which is expected to be a powerful means for such firms to overcome their liabilities of newness. Adopting a business incubation context, we present data from UK business incubates testing relationships among network behaviours (resource sharing, shared beliefs, tolerance of incubator management, and strategic network participation), social capital (localised and externalised), and organisational learning (accelerated learning and knowledge assimilation). We find that network behaviours have contrasting effects in generating localised and externalised social capital and both types of social capital differentially influence accelerated learning and knowledge assimilation.

Keywords: knowledge assimilation; organisational learning; network behaviour; social capital; business incubation; entrepreneurship; UK; United Kingdom; high-growth firms; entrepreneurial firms; resource sharing; shared beliefs; incubator management; strategic network participation; accelerated learning; incubators.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2011.039006

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2011 Vol.12 No.3, pp.257 - 272

Available online: 11 Mar 2011 *

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