Sub-theme 29: Innovation, Networks, Entrepreneurship, and Technology

Barak S. Aharonson
Xiamen University, China, & Tel Aviv University, Israel
Mark Ebers
University of Cologne, Germany
Suleika Bort
Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany

Call for Papers

This sub-theme seeks to bring together researchers who study from different vantage points how social networks, entrepreneurship, institutional environments, and technology interact to create different types of innovation. Research at the intersection of different fields is particularly fruitful for producing novel insights and theory development (Zahra & Newey, 2009).
The importance of linking social networks, technology and entrepreneurship in the study of innovation has been emphasized by various scholars (e.g., Aharonson et al., 2013, Leyden et al., 2014; Stuart & Sorenson, 2005). For example, prior research has shown how the type of knowledge that disseminates across the diverse networks of an individual, the strength and other characteristics of the individual’s direct network ties, and the individual’s position in the networks influence the innovative output of the individual. On an organizational level, prior research also confirms that networks are important in the context of innovation. Research moreover suggests that the role of different network ties in the creation of a venture and a venture’s innovative activities depend on various contextual conditions, for instance the geography, the entrepreneurial eco-system, the industry or the institutional environment (e.g., Schøtt & Jensen, 2016; Stam et al., 2014).
We invite scholars from various disciplines, such as organization studies, economics, psychology, sociology, geography or political science. We welcome work from different theoretical and methodological perspectives. We are particularly interested in submissions that use multiple theoretical perspectives, study multiplex networks, go beyond the dyadic level, or combine micro and macro level analysis when studying when and how entrepreneurs in particular networks and institutional environments develop or use technology to create innovations.
Some possible topics for papers in the sub-theme include, but are not limited to:

  • How do social networks, entrepreneurship, institutional environments, and technology interact to create innovation?

  • How does the impact and interplay of networks, entrepreneurship, and technology differ for different types of innovation (product, process or marketing innovation, business model innovation, innovation in work processes, etc.)?

  • What role do different types of networks (formal vs informal; strong vs weak, etc.) play in the different stages of the entrepreneurial process and in the development stages of innovations?

  • What role do networks, entrepreneurship and technology play for innovation in different institutional settings?

  • What role do networks play for migrants and returning migrants in entrepreneurship and innovation?

  • How do networks and technology constrain entrepreneurial behavior and knowledge creation?

  • Innovation, entrepreneurship and networks in “non-traditional”settings, for example in academia, social innovation, or innovation in non-creative institutional conditions?

  • What are the boundary conditions of the influence of networks and technology on innovation?

  • The inter-relationship among diverse and multiplex networks and how they affect entrepreneurial processes and innovation?



  • Aharonson, B.S., Stettner, U., Amburgey, T.L., Ellis, S., & Drori, I. (2013): Understanding the Relationship Between Networks and Technology, Creativity and Innovation. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  • Leyden, D.P., Link, A.N., & Siegel, D.S. (2014): “A theoretical analysis of the role of social networks in entrepreneurship.” Research Policy, 43 (7), 1157–1163.
  • Schøtt, T., & Jensen, K.W. (2016): “Firms’ innovation benefiting from networking and institutional support: A global analysis of national and firm effects.” Research Policy, 45 (6), 1233–1246.
  • Stam, W., Arzlanian, S., & Elfring, T. (2014): “Social capital of entrepreneurs and small firm performance: A meta-analysis of contextual and methodological moderators.” Journal of Business Venturing, 29 (1), 152–173.
  • Stuart, T.E., & Sorenson, O. (2005): “Social Networks and Entrepreneurship.” In: S.A. Alvarez, R. Agarwal & O. Sorenson (eds.): Handbook of Entrepreneurship Research: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Boston: Springer, 233–252.
  • Zahra, S.A., & Newey, L.R. (2009): “Maximizing the impact of organization science: Theory‐building at the intersection of disciplines and/or fields.” Journal of Management Studies, 46 (6), 1059–1075.
Barak S. Aharonson is a Professor of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship at Xiamen School of Management, Xiamen University, China; he is also a member of the Faculty of Management at the Coller School of Business, Tel-Aviv University, Israel. Barak’s research focuses on entrepreneurial activity and innovation within geographic agglomerations; knowledge flows and innovative activity; and, entrepreneurial proclivity. His research has been published in a wide range of high-ranked journals like ‘Academy of Management Journal’, ‘Research Policy’, and‘Global Strategy Journal’.
Mark Ebers is Professor of Business Administration, Corporate Development and Organization at the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Cologne, Germany. His research interests include networks and social capital, dynamic capabilities, innovation and learning as well as post-merger integration. Mark’s research has been published in a wide range of high-ranked journals like ‘Administrative Science Quarterly’, ‘Journal of Management’, ‘Organization Studies’, ‘Journal of Management Studies’, ‘Research in the Sociology of Organizations’, ‘Journal of Business Research’, and ‘Research Policy’.
Suleika Bort is Professor of Organization and International Management at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany. Her research focuses on inter-organizational networks and collaborations, institutions and learning. Suleika’s work on networks and learning, internationalization and the diffusion and implementation of management ideas has appeared in ‘British Journal of Management’, ‘Journal of International Business Studies’, ‘Journal of Management Studies’, and ‘Organization Studies’.