In this week’s assigment I am discussing the paradox of embeddedness. The essence of this paradox, is that when you are embedded in a network that contains too many close relationships, it will cause few new ties, which then develops in merely redundant information streams. For this assignment I interviewed the owner of an Indian take-away, in my neighbourhoud they’re quite a lot of those, and asked him in what ways embeddedness played a role in his venture.
It immediately became clear that ‘trust’ was the most prominent component of embeddedness that was a factor in the success of his venture. Evaluating the numbers of take-aways, delivery services and other places where one can get food, maintaining a basis of regular customer is vital for the survival of this entrepreneur’s business. This requires trust, since the entrepreneur expects that the regulars visit his take-away on regular basis, and the regulars expect the food to stay on the same level of quality and hygiene. The fact that this take-away has existed for 10 years, suggests that the entrepreneur has done something right, concerning his regulars. Which made it possible for him to keep making just Indian food instead of expanding and making food from other cultures and things like that.
The paradox of embeddedness does not concern his suppliers, since he has had the same supplier for 10 years now and since he doesn’t need any other ingredients for his food. If he maintains his business he doesn’t need any other ties to get supplies. The paradox of embeddedness is however applicable at his customers, he is very dependent of his regulars and he isn’t planning on changing this. If he would do some advertising like create a website, work together with thuisbezorgd.nl or if he would implement a delivery service himself he would make it easier for new customers to get to know him and his food, which would create a new customers basis. But now he is very much reliant of his regulars, and if they would abandon him for any reason, his business would surely go bankrupt and this is exactly what the paradox stands for. Too many of these close ties can eventually mean the downfall of an organization, I hope for this particular entrepreneur this never happens but it is possible and if he would try any of things I listed, like install a website, or a delivery service he could create new ties, which would make the leaving of regulars not a real threat to his business.
Chris Boer, 1983342