Guido Spooren, Week 46, Networks Assignment 3

Guido Spooren, Week 46, Networks Assignment 3

Hi readers, welcome to my third blog about Entrepreneurship and Networks!

In this blog I will be talking about “Embeddedness”, which was one of the topics in our lectures. For this week’s assignment, I’ve also read an article written by Uzzi (1997) and I have interviewed an entrepreneur, for which I used the article as a basis. Unfortunately, due to privacy reasons he is not on Facebook, so I was unable to walk him through his network using the Facebook app TouchGraph (which I talked about last week), which is why I cannot show you a picture of his network.

The entrepreneur I interviewed is a relative of mine, who started his own restaurant about 3 years ago. Prior to the interview, I explained to him some relevant terms (e.g. arm’s-length ties, (over)embeddedness, the paradox of embeddedness, etc.) in order to make my questions understandable to him. One of the most salient things he told me was that most people in his network were either good friends or other people he had could get along with fine and had no problem trusting. This tells me that those ties are mainly embedded ties and he only had but a few arm’s-length ties. He told me that actually all of the suppliers for his restaurant were either his friends or people recommended by his friends (references), with whom he built a good relationship as well, including a lot of trust. He told me that this was of much importance to him, since he thought he would be unable to make his restaurant really work if there wasn’t enough trust between him and the people who help making his restaurant work (e.g. his suppliers).

When I told him about the paradox of embeddedness and overembeddedness and therefore the chance of his restaurant even failing, he looked at me funny , since he never thought about it that way. However, he did see how it could jeopardize bigger businesses on the long term and that the paradox of embeddedness is true, but then he also told me that since his restaurant is not that big, he’s not concerned with the risk of overembeddedness.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog and hopefully you will read my next week’s blog as well! 🙂

Guido

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