Network Behaviours, Social Capital, and Organisational Learning in High-growth Entrepreneurial Firms

Mathew Hughes*, Robert E. Morgan, R. Duane Ireland, Paul Hughes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Despite recent conceptual and theoretical insights into social capital, little is known about the behaviours that generate social capital and how social capital influences organisational learning. The difficulty this gap creates for young entrepreneurial firms is that their managers understand little about how to strategically develop firm behaviour in an effort to create social capital, which is expected to be a powerful means for such firms to overcome their liabilities of newness. Adopting a business incubation context, we present data from UK business incubates testing relationships among network behaviours (resource sharing, shared beliefs, tolerance of incubator management, and strategic network participation), social capital (localised and externalised), and organisational learning (accelerated learning and knowledge assimilation). We find that network behaviours have contrasting effects in generating localised and externalised social capital and both types of social capital differentially influence accelerated learning and knowledge assimilation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)257-272
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Knowledge assimilation
  • Learning
  • Network behaviour
  • Social capital
  • Business incubation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • UK

Cite this