Women SME owner/managers, opportunity recognition and government-sponsored business networks
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This paper examined the benefits of belonging to business networks for women SME owners/managers and the effectiveness of government business development officers in supporting women SME owner/managers that belong to business networks. The findings suggest that approximately 20% of the reasons why women SME owner/managers belong to business networks can be explained by the findings from past research identifying the important functions of opportunity recognition and collective learning. The findings contribute to the literature about the 'intentions' part of Forbes (1999) cognitive model of opportunity recognition for women SME owner/managers. However, this suggests that almost 80% as to why women SME owner/managers belong to business networks cannot be explained using the stated literature. The finding highlights the lack of understanding about the nature and dynamics of being a SME within a business network particularly those owned or managed by women. It also may explain the difference between a 'social network' or 'industry-formed business network or cluster' on the one hand and a 'politically constructed business network' comprising members that belong to an established social network and those invited to attend by government/clustering agents. More qualitative research is required to better understand the relationship between women SMEs owner/managers and opportunity recognition within business networks
Building International Communities through collaboration. Conference Proceedings 2006, British Academy of Management
Copyright 2006 British Academy of Mangement. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Use hypertext link for access to conference website.