For this week’s assignment we had to interview a female and a male entrepreneur while using the questionnaire of Stam, Verstraete, Wakkee & Groenewegen (2014) . Stam et al (2014) distinguish eight dimensions of social networking behaviour. Those dimensions are: tie-sorting, knowledge sharing, tie exploiting, prestigious-tie-seeking practices, categorizing behavior, physical undirected signaling, directed organizing (social accessibility), and physical dyadic signaling (social accessibility).
I interviewed Marieke and Bert. Bert is an organisation advisor. He had gone bankrupt with his construction company during the Economic Crisis in 2008 and with that experience he advises other companies to prevent bankruptcy. Bert’s networkstyle can be explained by saying that he looks for relevant people for his company, which makes his style fit into the dimension of prestigious-tie-seeking practices of Stam et al (2014). This networkingstyle has some challenges. He doesn’t always know when someone is of added value and it could be that he invests a lot of time in someone, but in the end that someone can’t give him what he needs. His plan is to improve this aspect to do more research about someone in the future, which matches with the dimension of categorizing behaviour mentioned by Stam et al (2014), because this dimension is about analyzing, storing and collecting background of network relationships.
Marieke has a company where you can order postcards online. They offer handmade postcards for diverse occasions, and there is a pack of tea added to the postcard to increase the experience of the receiver. Her networking style matches with the ‘physical undirected signaling’ dimension of Stam et al (2014), because she uses social media a lot to get in contact with network relationships. One of the challenges of this dimension is that social media can be interpreted as impersonal. Marieke plans to improve the contact with her network relationships by visiting them or visit conventions were they are going. This improvement matches with the ‘directed organizing’ dimension of Stam et al (2014).
A gender difference noticed in the excel-sheet is that Bert search more for prestige ties then Marieke and that Marieke uses more social media than Bert, but I also have the feeling that this last differences can be explained because of their age difference. Marieke is 26 and Bert is 52.
Floris den Boer