Review of network research in scientific journal ‘Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice’


This article aims at presenting a systematic review of publications that verified the network theory and the theory of networks empirically, published in the entrepreneurship journal with the highest Impact Factor: “Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice”. We present how publication frequency evolved over time, and classify papers into major streams of entrepreneurship research. Our findings suggest the theory of networks is an under-researched area promising for further advancing the theory of entrepreneurship. We also find increasing publication frequency of network related research over time. Results oriented research were most often present in reviewed articles, while relationship among network variables and innovation was only tested in two articles so far which suggests that more research is needed in this direction in the future. We belief that verification of theories of networks in entrepreneurship and verification of relationship between network variables and innovation within the network theory are most promising. The originality of this work lies in identification of research opportunities and dynamics of empirical verification of network studies in the field of entrepreneurship.


network theory; theory of networks; literature review; entrepreneurship; network society

Arregle, J.-L., Batjargal, B., Hitt, M.A., Webb, J.W., Miller, T., & Tsui, A. S. (2015). Family Ties in Entrepreneurs' Social Networks and New Venture Growth. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 39(2), 313–344. doi: 10.1111/etap.12044.

Barabasi, L., & Albert, R. (1999). Emergence of Scaling in Random Networks. Nature, 286, 509-512. doi: 10.1126/science.286.5439.509.

Bartholomew, S., & Smith, A.D. (2006). Improving Survey Response Rates from Chief Execu-tive Officers in Small Firms: The Importance of Social Networks. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 30(1), 83–96. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2006.00111.x.

Borgatti, S.P., & Foster, P. (2003). The Network Paradigm in Organizational Research: A Review of Typology. Journal of Management, 29, 991-1013. doi: 10.1016/S0149-2063_03_00087-4.

Borgatti, S., & Halgin, D. (2011). On network theory. Organization Science, 22(5), 1168-1181. doi:10.1287/orsc.1100.0641.

Brin, S., & Page, L. (1998). Anatomy of a large-scale hypertextual web search engine. Proceedings of the 7th International World Wide Web Conference (107-117). Brisbane, Australia: Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. Ansterdam, The Netherlands. doi:10.1016/S0169-7552(98)00110-X.

Burt, R. (1992). Structural Holes. Cambridge, Massechusets: Harvard University Press.

Chen, W., & Tan, J. (2009). Understanding Transnational Entrepreneurship Through a Network Lens: Theoretical and Methodological Considerations. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 33(5), 1079–1091. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2009.00335.x.

Christakis, N., & Fowler, J. (2008). The Collective Dynamics of Smoking in a Large Social Network. The New England Journal of Medicine, 358(21), 2249-2258. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsa0706154.

Daspit, J.J., & Long, R.G. (2014). Mitigating Moral Hazard in Entrepreneurial Networks: Exam-ining Structural and Relational Social Capital in East Africa. Entrepreneur-ship Theory & Practice, 38(6), 1343–1350. doi: 10.1111/etap.12128.

De Carolis, D.M., Litzky, B.E., & Eddleston, K.A. (2009). Why Networks Enhance the Progress of New Venture Creation: The Influence of Social Capital and Cognition. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 33(2), 527–545. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2009.00302.x.

Du, J., Guariglia, A., & Newman, A. (2015). Do Social Capital Building Strategies Influ-ence the Financing Behavior of Chinese Private Small and Medium-Sized Enter-prises? Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 39(3), 601–631. doi: 10.1111/etap.12051.

Freeman, L. (1979). Centrality in social networks. Conceptual clarification. Social Net-works, 1, 215-239. doi: 10.1016/0378-8733(78)90021-7.

Ebbers, J.J. (2014). Networking Behavior and Contracting Relationships Among Entre-preneurs in Business Incubators. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 38(5), 1159–1181. doi: 10.1111/etap.12032.

Fiet, J.O. (1996). Fragmentation in the market for venture capital. Entrepreneurship The-ory & Practice, 21(2), 5-20.

Godwin, L.N., Stevens, C.E., & Brenner, N.L. (2006). Forced to Play by the Rules? Theo-rizing How Mixed-Sex Founding Teams Benefit Women Entrepreneurs in Male-Dominated Contexts. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 30(5), 623-642. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2006.00139.x

Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360-1380.

Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic action and social structure: the problem of embedded-ness. American Journal of Sociology, 91, 481-510. doi:10.1086/228311

Grégoire, D.A., Noël, M.X., Déry, R., & Béchard, J.-P. (2006). Is There Conceptual Con-vergence in Entrepreneurship Research? A Co-Citation Analysis of Frontiers of En-trepreneurship Research, 1981–2004. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 30(3), 333-373. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2006.00124.x.

Hansen, E.L. (1995). Entrepreneurial Networks and New Organization Growth. Entrepre-neurship: Theory & Practice, 19(4), 7-19.

Haugh, H. (2007). Community-Led Social Venture Creation. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 31(2), 161–182. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2007.00168.x.

Hite, J.M. (2005). Evolutionary Processes and Paths of Relationally Embedded Network Ties in Emerging Entrepreneurial Firms. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 29(1), 113-144. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2005.00072.x.

Hoang, H., & Antoncic, B. (2003). Network-based research in entrepreneurship: A critical review. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(2), 165-187.

Huser, E.A., & Swartz, E. (2010). Note to Instructors for Opt-e-scrip, Inc. Entrepreneur-ship: Theory & Practice, 34(2), 416-418. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2010.00380_2.x.

Jonsson, S., & Lindbergh, J. (2013). The Development of Social Capital and Financing of Entrepreneurial Firms: From Financial Bootstrapping to Bank Funding. Entrepre-neurship Theory & Practice, 37(4), 661–686. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2011.00485.x.

Karra, N., Tracey, P., & Phillips, N. (2006). Altruism and Agency in the Family Firm: Exploring the Role of Family, Kinship, and Ethnicity. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 30(6), 861–877. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2006.00157.x.

Keil, T., Maula, M. V.J., & Wilson, C. (2010). Unique Resources of Corporate Venture Capi-talists as a Key to Entry Into Rigid Venture Capital Syndication Networks. En-trepreneurship Theory & Practice, 34(1), 83–103. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2009.00366.x.

Khayesi, J.N.O., George, G., & Antonakis, J. (2014). Kinship in Entrepreneur Networks: Per-formance Effects of Resource Assembly in Africa. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 38(6), 1323–1342. doi: 10.1111/etap.12127.

Krebs, V. (2002). Unloaking Terrorist Networks. First Monday, 7(4). doi:doi:10.5210/fm.v7i4.941.

Kreiser, P.M., Patel, P.C., & Fiet, J.O. (2013). The Influence of Changes in Social Capital on Firm-Founding Activities. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 37(3), 539–568. doi: 10.1111/etap.12039.

Kuhn, K.M., & Galloway, T.L. (2015). With a Little Help From My Competitors: Peer Networking Among Artisan Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 39(3), 571–600. doi: 10.1111/etap.12053.

Latour, B. (1988). Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society. Boston: Harvard University Press.

Latour, B. (2010). Splatając na nowo to, co społeczne. Wprowadzenie do teorii aktora-sieci. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Universitas.

Lester, R.H., & Cannella, A.A. (2006). Interorganizational Familiness: How Family Firms Use Interlocking Directorates to Build Community-Level Social Capital. Entrepre-neurship: Theory & Practice, 30(6), 755-775. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2006.00149.x.

Louise, K., Althanassiou, N., & Crittenden, W. (2000). Founder Centrality and Strategic Behavior in the Family Owned Firm. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 25(2), 27-42.

Milgram, S. (1967). The small world problem. Psychology today, 2(1), 60-67.

Mosey, S., & Wright, M. (2007). From Human Capital to Social Capital: A Longitudinal Study of Technology-Based Academic Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 31(6), 909-935. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2007.00203.x.

Musteen, M., Datta, D.K., & Butts, M.M. (2014). Do International Networks and Foreign Market Knowledge Facilitate SME Internationalization? Evidence From the Czech Republic. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 38(4), 749–774. doi: 10.1111/etap.12025.

Partanen, J., Chetty, S. K., & Rajala, A. (2014). Innovation Types and Network Relation-ships. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 38(5), 1027–1055. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2011.00474.x

Patel, P.C., & Conklin, B. (2009). The Balancing Act: The Role of Transnational Habitus and Social Networks in Balancing Transnational Entrepreneurial Activities. Entre-preneurship Theory & Practice, 33(5), 1045–1078. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2009.00334.x

Powell, W. (1990). Neither market nor hierarchy: network forms of organization. Re-search in Organizational Behavior, 12, 295-336.

Ring, J.K., Peredo, A.M., & Chrisman, J.J. (2010). Business Networks and Economic Development in Rural Communities in the United States. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 34(1), 171–195. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2009.00307.x

Rowley, B., Behrens, D., & Krackhardt, D. (2000). Redundant governance structures: An analysis of structural and relational embeddedness in the steel and semiconductor industries. Strategic Management Journal, 21(3), 363-386. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0266(200003)21:3<369::AID-SMJ93>3.0.CO;2-M.

Saparito, P., Elam, A., & Brush, C. (2013). Bank–Firm Relationships: Do Perceptions Vary by Gender?. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 37(4), 837–858. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2012.00524.x.

Sautet, F. (2013). Local and Systemic Entrepreneurship: Solving the Puzzle of Entrepre-neurship and Economic Development. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 37(2), 387–402. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2011.00469.x.

Scarbrough, H., Swan, J., Amaeshi, K., & Briggs, T. (2013). Exploring the Role of Trust in the Deal-Making Process for Early-Stage Technology Ventures. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 37(5), 1203–1228. doi: 10.1111/etap.12031.

Semrau, T., & Werner, A. (2014). How Exactly Do Network Relationships Pay Off? The Effects of Network Size and Relationship Quality on Access to Start-Up Resources. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 38(3), 501–525. doi: 10.1111/etap.12011.

Slotte-Kock, S., & Coviello, N. (2010). Entrepreneurship Research on Network Processes: A Review and Ways Forward. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 34(1), 31-57. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2009.00311.x.

Sullivan, D.M., & Ford, C.M. (2014). How Entrepreneurs Use Networks to Address Changing Resource Requirements During Early Venture Development. Entrepre-neurship Theory & Practice, 38(3), 551–574. doi: 10.1111/etap.12009

Tan, J., Zhang, H., & Wang, L. (2015). Network Closure or Structural Hole? The Condi-tioning Effects of Network-Level Social Capital on Innovation Performance. Entre-preneurship Theory & Practice, 39(5), 1189–1212. doi: 10.1111/etap.12102

Tsai, W., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital and value creation: The role of intrafirm networks. Academy of Management Journal, 41, 225-249. doi:10.2307/257085

Uzzi, B. (1997). Social structure and competition in interfirm networks: The paradox of embeddedness. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42(1), 35-67.

Uzzi, B., Amaral, L., & Reed-Tsochas, F. (2007). Small-world networks and management science research: a review. Nature, 4, 77-91.

Valente, T. (1996). Social network thresholds in the diffusion of innovations. Social net-works, 18(1), 69-89. doi:0.1016/0378-8733(95)00256-1

Watts, D., & Strogatz, S. (1998). Collective dynamics of 'small-world' networks. Nature, 393, 440-442.

Webb, J.W., Kistruck, G.M., Ireland, R.D., & Ketchen, Jr., D.J. (2010). The Entrepreneur-ship Process in Base of the Pyramid Markets: The Case of Multinational Enter-prise/Nongovernment Organization Alliances. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 34(3), 555–581. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2009.00349.x

Wenhong, C., & Tan, J. (2009). Understanding Transnational Entrepreneurship Through a Network Lens: Theoretical and Methodological Considerations. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 33(5), 1079-1091.

Westhead, P. (1995). Survival and Employment Growth Contrasts Between Types of Owner-Managed High-Technology Firms. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 20(1), 5-27.

White, H. (1992). Identity and Control: A Structural Theory of Social Action. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Wu, L.-Y., Wang, C.-J., Chen, C.-P., & Pan, L.-Y. (2008). Internal Resources, External Network, and Competitiveness during the Growth Stage: A Study of Taiwanese High-Tech Ventures. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 32(3), 529–549.


Published : 2016-10-19

BrzozowskaA., & ZdziarskiM. (2016). Review of network research in scientific journal ‘Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice’. International Entrepreneurship Review, 2(2), 93-107. Retrieved from

Agnieszka Brzozowska
University of Warsaw  Poland
Michał Zdziarski 
University of Warsaw  Poland

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

1. The author agrees to publish his article free of charge in the journal "International Entrepreneurship Review" (IER) in the language of the above publication (English). The editorial staff reserves the right to shorten texts and to change titles.

2. The journal allows the authors to keep their copyrights (the copyright) in accordance with the license: Creative Commons CC-BY-ND 4.0.

Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) only the final version of the article, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access). We advise to use any of the following research society portals:

- ResearchGate
- Selected Works
- Academic Search