Networking Behavior and Contracting Relationships Among Entrepreneurs in Business Incubators


  • Joris J. Ebbers

    assistant professor, Corresponding author
    • Please send correspondence to: Joris J. Ebbers, tel.: +31-20-525-5424; e-mail:

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    • Joris J. Ebbers is an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam Business School.

  • This research has been made possible with the help of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research—Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijke Onderzoek (NWO)—under grant number 400-07-160. The author would like to thank the managers and entrepreneurs of all four incubators for their support; Michiel Resink and Anna Heemskerk for helping to collect the data; Niamh O'Sullivan for proofreading and editing the manuscript; the participants at the Amsterdam Business School brown bag for their feedback; and the editor and reviewers of ET&P for their constructive comments, feedback, and support.


Many studies focus on the relationship between social networks and performance. I study networking behavior as an antecedent of tie formation among entrepreneurs in business incubators. I distinguish between two types of networking behavior: individual networking orientation or building potentially valuable ties for personal gain, and tertius iungens orientation or facilitating tie formation between others. I find that both types of networking behavior are positively related with the number of business partners to whom entrepreneurs give business assignments. Contrary to expectations, I find no relationship between networking behavior and the number of business partners from whom entrepreneurs receive business assignments.