چگونه سرمایه انسانی و اجتماعی باعث نفوذ شناخت فرصت ها و بسیج منابع در صنعت بافندگی دستی هند شده است؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|18641||2010||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||13888 کلمه|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Venturing, Volume 25, Issue 3, May 2010, Pages 245–260
Small-scale firms in rural areas play an extremely important role in the development of any country, and especially in developing countries. To understand entrepreneurs who operate in a low-technology industry, we rely on the network perspective on entrepreneurship. In this paper, we investigate how the social and human capital of entrepreneurs (in this case master weavers in the handloom industry) influence their ability to recognize opportunities and mobilize resources. In addition to examining the direct effects, we also explore the possibilities of social capital mediating between human capital, on the one hand, and opportunity recognition and resource mobilization on the other. This paper adds to existing literature in two ways: firstly, we expand the social capital paradigm by including different cultural settings and links to existing studies regarding small enterprises. Secondly, we provide additional evidence to the ongoing debate as to what constitutes a ‘good network’.
The importance of small enterprises in rural areas in emerging economies is recognized by many researchers and practitioners (Van Dijk, 2000). In a country like India, where about 70% of the people live in rural areas, non-farm enterprises are an important element in the country's ability to absorb potential excess to farm labor (Lanjouw and Lanjouw, 2001). Compared to the number of non-farm studies that focus on either the macro-level (i.e. the industry) or on the intermediate level (i.e. along the sub sector or ‘economic spheres’),1 there are fewer studies that examine the level of the individual firm. Prominent among the firm level studies within the developing country content, is the study conducted by Long (1977 pg. 123). Based on Geertz (1963), Cohen (1969), Mines (1972) and Long (1968), Long identifies rural entrepreneur in any single area to be similar in their socio-economic conditions, hence, differential performance of rural entrepreneurs can be attributed to interpersonal networks. He formalizes his arguments by developing an “actor-oriented approach” and uses this approach to investigate the networks of marketing and transport entrepreneurs in the Peruvian Highlands. He finds that network structure (i.e. geographical and social span) and content (i.e. types of transactions effected between entrepreneurs) are important to the entrepreneurs in question. A number of studies have followed in Long's footsteps (Altaf, 1983, Broehl, 1978, Owens, 1973, Owens and Nandy, 1978 and Upadhya, 1997) and confirmed his findings, specifically with regard to the importance of social networks to small entrepreneurs in developing countries. Recent developments in entrepreneurship studies, especially those that adopt a network approach, provide a framework to further understand the ways small entrepreneurs in rural areas of emerging economies use their networks in their business activities (Honig, 1998 and Mueller and Thomas, 2000). Entrepreneurship as an academic field is gaining importance, as researchers try to understand why some people succeed to discover opportunities while others do not, and how these discovered opportunities are evaluated and exploited. New opportunities may involve introducing new goods and services, exploring new markets, developing new production processes and/or combining raw materials in new ways (Venkataraman, 1997 and Shane and Venkataraman, 2000). In recent times, the network perspective, which investigates how the connections between entrepreneurs and their social contacts facilitate or constrain their businesses, has become a dominant concept in explaining the phenomenon of entrepreneurship (Johanisson, 2000). Within the network perspective, there is a group of scholars who support the idea that being part of a network where all the network members know most of the other members is beneficial to an entrepreneur (Coleman, 1988). Another group of scholars (Granovetter, 1977, Granovetter, 1983, Burt, 1992 and Burt, 2000) argue that, because information regarding opportunities and resources is distributed unevenly throughout society, if an entrepreneur is to identify opportunities, he or she will have to reach out to different parts of society; weak ties provide bridging opportunities that enable entrepreneurs to go beyond their immediate network. This school of thought argues, consequently, that weak ties, in combination with sparse networks, are beneficial to entrepreneurs. Recent studies, however, indicate that neither sparse nor closed networks by themselves offer the optimum solution (Rowley et al., 2000 and Elfring and Hulsink, 2003). The authors of these studies indicate that it is important to have the right mix of strong and weak ties, and of dense and sparse network elements. This mix is contingent upon various aspects, such as the industrial, technological and environmental conditions that surround the industry. In addition to these aspects, we would add the purpose or objective of the network (Ahuja, 2000) as another contingency factor, by drawing a distinction between the mobilization of resources and the recognition of opportunities. By distinguishing these two entrepreneurial processes we address the challenge posed by Sorenson and Stuart (2005) to disentangle the network effects with regard to opportunity recognition from the network consequences for the mobilization of resources. This distinction enables us to improve our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of network effects concerning the functioning of entrepreneurial firms. Successful entrepreneurship involves more than being part of a good network. To be successful, entrepreneurs will have to put their network to use. In other words, they will have to scan the information that is coming in, identify opportunities and then look for any resources that are beyond their control. This is where human capital (i.e. experience, skills and intelligence) comes into play. Consequently, the first research question we address in this study is the following: In what ways does the human and social capital of entrepreneurs have a direct effect on their ability to recognize opportunities and mobilize resources? Furthermore, this study indicates that neither social nor human capital in isolation can completely explain how entrepreneurs identify opportunities (Ardichvili et al., 2003). We explore an intervening relationship between human and social capital. Specifically, we look at how social capital mediates between human capital and the dependent variables. The second research question this paper addresses is the following: How does social capital mediate between human capital and the dependent variables: opportunity recognition and resource mobilization? The handloom industry provides a suitable setting to study networks and entrepreneurship. To begin with, it is the largest non-agricultural employer in rural India, which has survived by developing marketing networks across the country. It has survived because the entrepreneurs in this industry have been able to bring out the strengths of the industry – to produce market-oriented products in small numbers rapidly – and survive in the open market, along with the mill industry. Entrepreneurs who operate in this industry use archaic hand-operated looms to produce traditional textiles. Production takes place entirely in rural areas and, unlike many other rural industries, the handloom markets are distributed across the country, and some products are exported as well. The prime movers in the industry are entrepreneurs called ‘master weavers’,2 who raise money in the informal banking systems and organize their production based on what the markets demand. Each master weaver provides the raw material and designs to a set of weavers, who produce the textiles and are paid accordingly. The master weavers then deliver the products to their clients (textile retail outlets distributed across the country) who sell them on to the end-customers. With close to twelve million people employed in the industry, the handloom industry is a contentious issue, as both central and state governments have for decades supported the weavers' cooperatives. Both the government and non government organizations have supported the cooperative movement in an attempt to counter the exploitative tendencies of the master weavers. Although large amounts of money have been spent on this counter-offensive, the master weavers still control about 75% of the handloom production. Our focus is not on the power relationship between master weavers and their weavers, as significant research has been conducted in that area. However, fewer studies have attempted to understand how these entrepreneurs are able to produce their products and market them successfully in the very markets where cooperatives are failing (Mukund and Shyamasundari, 2000). Our study allows us to connect the network theory of entrepreneurship to studies that focus on small enterprise development (i.e. informal sector studies and cluster development), economic anthropology and specifically on the handloom industry. As such, the first contribution of this paper is to extend the network theory of entrepreneurship that has been developed in Western social and cultural environments or in high-technology sections of developing countries to include low technology Indian handloom industry. Our findings may be applied to craft-based industries in general, since they all need to satisfy highly differentiated conditions and mobilize resources locally (McAuley and Fillis, 2005 and Paige and Littrell, 2002). Secondly, disentangling resource mobilization from opportunity recognition as a contingency factor of network effects has enabled us to explain our finding that both closure (and strong ties) and structural holes are required. Closure and strong ties satisfy the need for resources locally, while structural holes have proved to be crucial when it comes to recognizing opportunities in other communities. Thirdly, we show how the effect human capital has on resource mobilization and opportunity recognition is mediated by social capital.