Although new ventures’ competitive positioning and their founders’ social networks are both recognized as important in the context of transition economies, not much is known about their multiplicative effect on performance. We build on the strategic management literature and social network theory to develop theoretical predictions about the role of competitive strategies and social capital for entrepreneurial performance. These are tested with survey data from Bulgaria. We find that both the venture’s competitive strategic positioning and the founder’s networking positively influence performance. The hypothesized moderating effect of networking for the relationship between differentiation strategy and performance received only tentative support. Contrary to expectations, we find a negative moderating effect of networking for the relationship of cost leadership with performance. These results suggest that the entrepreneur’s network plays a role in shaping how strategies influence performance by possibly upholding differentiation and deemphasizing cost leadership strategy. Implications for managerial practice and public policy are discussed.
Author: I. Manev, T. Manolova, B. Gyoshev, J. Harkins