With a Little Help From My Competitors: Peer Networking Among Artisan Entrepreneurs


  • Kristine M. Kuhn,

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Kristine M. Kuhn is an associate professor in the Department of Management, Information Systems, & Entrepreneurship at the Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA.
  • Tera L. Galloway

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Tera L. Galloway is an assistant professor in the Department of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University, Normal, IL, USA.

  • Portions of this research were previously presented at the Society for Judgment and Decision Making meeting, Seattle, Washington, 2011.


Although many studies have assessed the effects of networking and government assistance programs on small business success, little attention has been paid to the opportunities afforded by technology for owner–managers in the same industry to offer “soft” support, such as advice, to one another. Here we examine arts and crafts e-commerce, a context conducive to comparing distinct types of advice and support, and where a great deal of peer assistance is exchanged via formal and informal networks. Survey results from 343 artisan entrepreneurs show that motivational differences influence which types of advice and support they value and which they are most likely to provide to others.