Entrepreneurs and innovators benefit from being part of rich and diverse networks, which give them the chance to share ideas, ask for advice and obtain support. In his research programme “Networking for Innovation”, funded by the European Research Council, Dr Anne ter Wal seeks to better understand how entrepreneurs and innovators build and mobilise their social capital to achieve innovative outcomes.
Day-to-day decisions in how we relate to others – who we speak to over lunch at work, which professional events we attend, who we turn for advice on novel ideas – affect our social capital. Entrepreneurs and innovators in particular actively shape their professional networks to access key knowledge, capital and other resources. Similarly, innovators at large corporations are aware of the crucial role played by social network resources in generating new ideas and gaining support to realise projects.
The "Networking for Innovation" programme aims to understand how the day-to-day decisions of innovators and entrepreneurs in building and leveraging their networks affects their ability to successfully pursue innovation. The project follows the idea that more successful entrepreneurs and innovators may not simply have better networks, their success could be down to more effective networking behaviour.
- Ter Wal A, Criscuolo P, Salter, A, 2022, Inside-Out, Outside-In, or All-in-One? The Role of Network Sequencing in the Elaboration of Ideas, Academy of Management Journal
- Ter Wal A, Criscuolo P, McEvily B, Salter A., 2020, Dual networking: how collaborators network in their quest for innovation, Administrative Science Quarterly
- Ter Wal ALJ, Alexy O, Block JH, Sandner P, 2016, The best of both worlds: The benefits of open-specialized and open-diverse syndication networks for new venture success, Administrative Science Quarterly
- Carnabuci G, Dioszegi B, 2015, Social networks, cognitive style, and innovative performance: a contingency perspective, Academy of Management Journal