Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to use a marketing segmentation approach based upon attitudes and perceptions of centrality, trust, communication, conflict resolution, benefits and satisfaction to create a typology of network members specifically for entrepreneurs as actors in entrepreneurial business networks. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses a survey of individuals drawn from six entrepreneurial networks located within West Wales and South‐East Ireland. Initial analysis utilised exploratory factor analysis, which was then used as a base for cluster analysis. Validity was established using ANOVA (continuous data) and Chi‐square (categorical data) tests, while reliability was examined through Cronbach alphas. Findings – The findings indicate that a four segment structure existed. Each of the four segments were found to be significantly different regarding attitudes towards centrality, trust, communication, conflict resolution, benefits and satisfaction. The four network member segments are: Benefiters, Doubters, Shadows and Leaders. Research limitations/implications – The main limitation of this research is the sample size. Consequently, the implications are somewhat limited and more work is required to validate these findings. Further research is needed to test if the segments are generalisable. Originality/value – The research is an initial attempt to segment actors in entrepreneurial networks through the use of market segmentation. The work creates a pathway for further investigations into this area using the segmentation framework.
Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 12, 2012
Keywords: Networks; Centrality; Trust; Entrepreneurs; Market segmentation; Cluster analysis; Entrepreneurialism; United Kingdom; Ireland
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