Baraldi, E., Havenvid, M., Linné, Å., & Öberg, C. (2019). Start-ups and networks: interactive perspectives and a research agenda. Industrial Marketing Management, 80, 58-67. DOI: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2018.02.002
This article introduces Industrial Marketing Management’s special issue on start-ups and networks. To begin with, we stress the relevance of understanding the context wherein entrepreneurship unfolds – a context filled with social, technical and economic connections to which the start-up needs to relate. We also present and confront three network perspectives which bring different insights to the interplay between start-ups and networks: Social Network (SN) theory, the Industrial Marketing & Purchasing (IMP) view, and Actor-Network Theory (ANT). Next, we introduce the 12 papers of this special issue and place them on a continuum covering a start-up’s process of network embedding and including the three periods of establishment, consolidation and stabilization. We conclude with a research agenda suggesting five avenues for further research: (1) tracing start-ups’ process of network embedding, (2) mapping the connections between the different networks affecting a start-up, (3) grasping the negative effects of networks on start-ups, (4) making longitudinal case studies on start-ups and networks more comparable via common analytical tools, and (5) investigating how policy influences the complex interplay between start-ups and networks.