This paper considers the role and process of the formation and development of a social network in the furtherance of rural small business. The paper's contribution is in enhancing our knowledge about the social aspects of rural networking. The study uses a qualitative approach of data collection involving participant observation and interviews to build a full picture of the networking activities of two competing olive oil producers based in a small village in Greece. The data were analysed by comparative analysis to show that for both cases networking is primarily a social activity. Networking practices involved becoming embedded in the community, building a reputation for usefulness and establishing trust. It was noted that the entrepreneurs both focused on linking activities by using their position within the rural network to establish useful further external linkages.
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 2004
Keywords: Rural areas; Social interaction; Entrepreneurialism; Greece
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