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CCEE Guest Talk: Dr. Anne ter Wal

Transitioning to Circles That Matter

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 4:00 PM (GMT Standard Time) to Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 5:00 PM (GMT Standard Time)

Event Details

The Centre for Networks and Enterprise Excellence (CNEE), Heriot-Watt University, is hosting a series of virtual guest talks during the Autumn term. All are welcome, so please circulate to anyone who may be interested.  

The second talk of the series is on Wednesday 9th December 2020. Please see below for more information.

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Please note you do not need to have Microsoft Teams installed on your machine, as you can join via both the browser or the Teams app.

Transitioning to Circles That Matter: How Entrepreneurs Navigate Networking Arenas to Build Social Capital

Presenter: Dr Anne ter Wal (Imperial College London)

Wednesday 9th December 2020, 16:00-17:00 (UK time)

Entrepreneurs engage in networking to build social capital. They have been portrayed either as passive-reactive structurally constrained networkers or as deliberate and strategic actors. Yet we lack insight into what entrepreneurs actually do to find their way to circles that matter. How do entrepreneurs navigate their networking environment to build social capital? In this qualitative study, we examine how 22 technology entrepreneurs navigated London’s TechCity ecosystem to build social capital. Our empirically induced model reveals three insights. First, we introduce the concept of networking arenas: unbounded and bounded. In unbounded arenas, entrepreneurs engage in rapport building, visibility building, and filtering behaviors to initiate social capital building, setting in motion relational snowballing, which enables their transition to bounded arenas. Second, we show that in bounded arenas entrepreneurs engage in emotional bonding and experience sharing with high-caliber individuals that accelerates social capital building. Third, social capital evolves incrementally starting in unbounded arenas which emboldens entrepreneurs to transition to bounded arenas – hidden and self-created – where it accelerates to create a sense of solidarity and access to valuable resources. Our study contributes to research on networking and social capital building in entrepreneurial ecosystems.


About Dr. Anne ter Wal

Dr. Anne ter Wal is Associate Professor of Technology and Innovation Management in the Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Imperial College Business School.

His research, often in collaboration with leading multinational companies as well as start-ups, focuses on the role of networks in innovation and entrepreneurship. Specifically, Anne studies how individuals access new knowledge and ideas through networks within and between organizations and the challenges they face when seeking to apply these ideas to the creation of novel products and services.

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