Riding the Practice Waves: Social Resourcing Practices During New Venture Development


  • The authors would to thank the reviewers and the action editor of this paper for their highly constructive comments and direction in shaping this paper.
  • The authors would also like to thank Luis Araujo, Bruce Martin, Pat Gibbons, Tony Meenaghan, Andrea Prothero, and Mary Lambkin for their advice and support.
  • A previous conference version of some of the empirical material was presented at the 27th Annual Industrial Marketing and Purchasing Group (IMP) conference August 30–September 3, 2011.


This paper investigates how early venture entrepreneurs engage in socially embedded practices to resource their firm. We contribute to an emerging literature that calls for a shift in perspective from “resource” as an object to “resourcing” as a practice. This shift entails a focus away from whom entrepreneurs know toward how they engage with their venture's social contexts. Through the analysis of an in-depth longitudinal case study of a life-science venture, we show that social resourcing practices are more reminiscent of a creative coping with ambiguous and ever-changing environments over time than of “heroic” strategizing. We explore how entrepreneurs mobilize and creatively combine their social resources at hand, seek resources through engaging with other practice nets, negotiate differences between practice nets, and reflectively adapt their resourcing practices toward emerging resource contexts in ways that we describe as “riding the practice waves” of social resourcing.