Enablers and inhibitors of the development of network capability in entrepreneurial firms: A study of the Irish micro-brewing network

Helen McGrath, Thomas O'Toole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Focusing on the Irish micro-brewing industry, this paper identifies and describes the factors that both enable and inhibit the entrepreneurial firm's development of its network capability. The empirical research entailed in-depth interviews with the entire network of micro-brewery entrepreneurs in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland comprising nineteen firms. Using multiple levels of network analysis, findings illustrate the complexity of network capability development. The factors inhibiting the development of network capability were found to outweigh the ones enabling it. Past network experience, information sharing and participation in coordinated consumer events represent some of the factors found to enable network capability. Conversely, a desire for control over decision making, a lack of knowledge sharing or joint problem solving and the perception of value chain activity links and resources as unnecessary inhibits network capability. The main contribution of the paper is a framework of factors enabling and inhibiting network capability based on a multi-level network analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1141-1153
Number of pages13
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Volume42
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Keywords

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Network analysis
  • Network capability
  • Relationship development
  • Small and medium sized enterprises

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