Embracing digital networks: entrepreneurs’ social capital online

Brock Smith, Claudia Smith, Eleanor Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Citations (Scopus)
218 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a research agenda for understanding how entrepreneurs accrue social capital in the digital age. We develop a conceptual framework with 12 research propositions that specify how the unique technical capabilities of social network sites impact entrepreneurs’ bridging and bonding social capital online. These propositions are informed by anecdotal evidence from founders that finds entrepreneurs’ social capital accrual differs online. We include theoretical and methodological insights for overcoming research challenges concerning context dynamism, intertwined networks, and unclear behavioral norms. This agenda addresses a growing gap between contemporary entrepreneurial practices and existing social capital theory and research in entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-34
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
Issue number1
Early online date21 Oct 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Oct 2016


  • entrepreneurial processes
  • social capital
  • networks
  • social media
  • affordances


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