The Role of Environmental Orientation in Business Networks

Thomas Ritter, Petra Dickel

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    Besides for-profit start-ups, an increasing number of firms start their existence with the purpose to “do good” for society – mirrored in an increasing academic discussion of sustainable firms. Yet, there is little research on the networking activities of start-ups that do not have profit generation as their primary focus. Addressing this research gap, we develop hypotheses on the different networking activities of environmentally oriented start-ups arguing that their societal focus has a positive impact on the frequency of their networking and the size of their network. For empirically investigating such networking differences, we use data from 179 technology-based start-ups and show that start-ups with a strong external environmental orientation have significantly higher networking frequency and build larger networks. On the contrary, strong internal environmental orientation is linked to smaller networks. While high networking frequency translates into sales growth, network size significantly decreases start-up success. These results offer important conclusions for managerial practice in start-ups.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2016
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event2016 R&D Management Conference: From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation - University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Duration: 3 Jul 20166 Jul 2016


    Conference2016 R&D Management Conference
    LocationUniversity of Cambridge
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address

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