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The dynamics of entrepreneurial networking logics: Evidence from United Kingdom high-tech start-ups

Zhang, J. J., Zhang, J. & Baden-Fuller, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-0230-1144 (2022). The dynamics of entrepreneurial networking logics: Evidence from United Kingdom high-tech start-ups. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 28(9), pp. 405-426. doi: 10.1108/ijebr-12-2021-1040


Purpose – This study explores how entrepreneurial firms’ networking logics may change under different types of perceived uncertainty. The arrival of new knowledge from the entrepreneurial firm’s network may alter the perceived technology and market uncertainty, that in turn determines how the firm adopts or combines the two opposing logics of causation and effectuation. Focusing on the roles of external advisors recruited by the firms, the study probes the details of the cyclical process and the mechanism through which networking logics are altered.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors conducted a 3-year longitudinal multiple case study of 12 UK high-tech start-ups from pre-founding to A-round funding with 54 semi-structured interviews and meeting observations.

Findings – The knowledge of external advisors with distinct experience often reshapes the entrepreneurial firm's perceptions of uncertainty, leading to logics change in network development. The authors identify two types of knowledge brought by external advisors and discover how these can influence three networking logic pathways under different levels of technology and market uncertainty.

Originality – The study is one of the first to map the paths of changing logics along with different types of uncertainty in the context of entrepreneurial network development. The study unpacks one of the key mechanisms of networking logic changes: the knowledge and expertise of those advisors recruited by the entrepreneurial firms. The process model of changing logics contributes to the effectuation literature and entrepreneurial network research.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © Joanne Jin Zhang, Charles Baden-Fuller and Jing Zhang. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non- commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at
Publisher Keywords: Advisor, Effectuation, Entrepreneurial network; Knowledge; Logic change; Uncertainty
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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