Satisfaction, Investment, and Alternatives Predict Entrepreneurs' Networking Group Commitment and Subsequent Revenue Generation

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Abstract

Prevailing wisdom across the body of research regarding social ties suggests that quantity matters. However, this logic is less applicable in formal networking groups, which have a bounded (and stable) membership. In such a setting, we argue that the quality of an entrepreneur's relationship with the networking group is what matters. Accordingly, we suggest that the networking group setting is one in which core tenets of the literature need refining. Consistent with our predictions, findings from a sample of 279 entrepreneurs across 25 separate networking groups demonstrated that entrepreneurs' affective commitment to the group mediated the relations among (1) satisfaction with their group, (2) investment in their group, and (3) perceptions of alternatives to their group with the outcome of percentage of revenue generated from the networking group. These data provide insight into the psychological and behavioral antecedents of performance for entrepreneurs in networking groups: entrepreneurs who are more affectively committed to their networking groups are more likely to experience gains in revenue attributed to the group. We discuss the implications of these findings as well as offer multiple directions for future work.

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