Few researchers have examined empirically the dynamics of human–non-human networking and its importance for strategic outcomes, particularly in the field of entrepreneurship. In this paper, we use Actor-Network Theory to observe and investigate the role of materially heterogeneous entities in the entrepreneurial network. Building on the results of a four-year, multi-case study, this paper describes how an entrepreneurial network, beyond its social nature, is also a socio-material constellation. The symmetric treatment of human and non-human actors enables us to move away from the figure of the heroic entrepreneur. Our findings reveal various roles that the heterogeneity of actor-networks can play in the entrepreneurial process. We see on the one hand their power to attract and recruit new allies when they are aligned with the entrepreneur’s vision, and on the other their ability to repel and block the new venture creation process when they fail to effectively translate what the entrepreneur has in mind.
Wadid Lamine, Alain Fayolle, Sarah Jack and Janice Byrne. Forthcoming. The Role of Materially Heterogeneous Entities in the Entrepreneurial Network, Industrial Marketing Management, first published 26 December 2017: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019850117309100