The process of embedding a small firm in its industrial context

Eleanor Shaw, Juliette Wilson, Tobias Pret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)
91 Downloads (Pure)


This article explores the activities involved in embedding a small firm in its industrial context. Inductive analysis of longitudinal, case study data collected from a small firm in the creative industries highlights the use of networks and networking as embedding mechanisms. Key emergent themes include the impacts of pre-embeddedness (defined as the sum of all cultural, social and symbolic capital accessible to the founding team prior to business start-up), the vision and network orientation of the founding team and their strategic use of networking. The interplay between these conditions and activities is revealed as important in building legitimacy, which is critical for embedding a firm in its industrial context. This article extends knowledge of embedding beyond the initial phase of new venture creation and highlights the emergent and evolving dynamics behind this process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-243
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Issue number3
Early online date10 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • embeddedness
  • social network theory
  • capital theory
  • creative industries
  • networking


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