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Network Matters! Revisiting Social Networks
Anita Sharma,
Published in Academy of Management
Volume: 2017
Issue: 1

In quest of inclusive growth, developing countries are now shifting their focus towards gainful engagement and inclusion of vulnerable and minority people into the mainstream. Hence, these countries are considering the extent of entrepreneurial activities that brings economic independence and provides an equal level playing field. However, despite government supports and institutional voids, the minority, specially, people with disabilities are not fruitfully engaged. Researchers have examined various possible reasons that seem to affect entrepreneurial activities, in general, and alertness to entrepreneurial opportunities, in particular, by people with disabilities. Literature classifies ‘social network ties’ as mentors, informal networks, professional forums, and family & friends and their effect on entrepreneurial opportunity recognition. In this paper, we build upon the extant literature on network ties in the context of PwDs as the contextual factors vary significantly possibly due socially constructed stereotypes. We administered an online survey on 1778 respondents from 19 disability related public forums, received 209 usable responses and tested the model using PLS-SEM due to small sample size. The present study found a support for the relationship between informal networks and mentors with opportunity. Interestingly, data reveal counter-intuitive insights for family & friends and professional forums. However, the data supported moderation effect of self-efficacy of PwDs on the relationship of mentors, informal networks, professional forums, and family & friends with opportunity recognition. Therefore, the results of moderation effect of self-efficacy are more pronounced in opportunity recognition that has high self-efficacy, than in opportunity recognition with low self-efficacy. Finally, the study concludes with a considerable ramification for policy makers, academia, and also PwDs.

About the journal
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
PublisherAcademy of Management
Open AccessNo