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Entrepreneurs learning together: the importance of building trust for learning and exploiting business opportunities
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
Department of Business Administration and Social Science, Luleå University of Technology.
Department of Business Administration and Social Science, Luleå University of Technology.
2011 (English)In: The International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Vol. 7, no 1, 17-37 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This longitudinal, qualitative case study examines trust-building processes and learning outcomes among entrepreneurs who participated in formal networks designed to develop competence and knowledge. This study is built on rich data collected through observation and video recordings made during network meetings and get-togethers. Additional data was gleaned from personal interviews with participating entrepreneurs. All data sources reveal on how trust develops and how entrepreneurs can use networks to learn and improve their capacity to exploit business opportunities. Studying how trust is built over time among entrepreneurs who demonstrate a low level of trust when they join the network, this study provides insights into micro-processes and important components of building trust. Findings suggest three processes that build commitment, companionship, and competence trust. Moreover, acknowledging the notion of social learning, the findings suggest that when entrepreneurs build trust with one another they can experience cognitive, emotional, and social changes by participating in a network. This may bring potential consequences for their exploiting opportunities. Implications for academics and managers are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Science , 2011. Vol. 7, no 1, 17-37 p.
Keyword [en]
Trust, Learning networks, Learning outcomes, SME, Video analysis
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-40836DOI: 10.1007/s11365-009-0120-9OAI: diva2:403137
Available from: 2011-03-11 Created: 2011-03-11 Last updated: 2016-03-03Bibliographically approved

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Bergh, PontusWincent, Joakim
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