Entrepreneurship and social networks in IT sectors: the case of the software industry in Portugal

Par Isabel Salavisa, Pedro Videira, Filipa Santos
Empirical research has repeatedly confirmed that social networks are important for the creation, survival and growth of new companies. In this article, the leading research questions are: 1) how do networks contribute to the creation of software firms and further development of a competitive IT sector; 2) what is the structure and features of those networks; 3) how have they evolved from the companies’ founding stage to the current period; 4) what resources (scientific and technological knowledge, skills, and others) do entrepreneurs mobilize through their networks. Based on a survey of 13 companies, those research questions have been tested, using a methodology that combines applied statistical techniques and social network analysis. Our results seem to support our research questions. They also show that some companies and research units play a relevant role as brokers in the access of many companies to technological, informational and other resources.
JEL Codes: L26, M13, L86, L96
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