Recently I had a conversation with my aunt Jenny. She was born in Austria and started her career when she studied business economics after which she continued with sport marketing. Coincidentally she ended up in the TV Business, after her former colleagues recommend her she should have a talk with Joop van den Ende.
This is a form of social relationship as described by Uzzi. Her form colleagues used their network to embed Jenny within another network and exploit its opportunities. Since a social relationship often involved quite a lot of trust this was a real benefit since it improved the resources being shared within the network. After her career at Endemol she went to talk with a few other companies for a new job. As she was always a hard worker she had enough of working for someone else, she decided to start a company herself.
She had built a big network and knew every important person in the business. Including lot’s of former colleagues and was still in close contact with all the other companies in the TV business. It’s safe to say she was really embedded within this sector of business.
Trust is one important aspect which is clearly visible within Jenny’s network, she is sharing everything with her business network and this improves the quality of resources which are being shared. Furthermore her embeddednes within the network causes the sharing of information with her partners. It does however not increase her problem solving ability. Problem solving is done within the company and does not involve anyone from within her network. Embeddednes plays a crucial role in attaining her desired professional outcomes since it enables her to use knowledge of her business partners. Jenny does not perceive embeddednes as paradoxical since she does not involve her network in her core business. By not involving embeddednes in the business core, unforeseeable change is much less likely to happen. Unfortunately Jenny is not active on Facebook, which prevents me from presenting her network on TouchGraph.