The dark side of networking

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Many start-ups do not survive the first few years of business. Previous studies suggest that networks play a role in start-ups’ success, but this positive effect has limits. The purpose of this paper is to answer the call for a better understanding of the dark side of networks and the variables that condition the likelihood of start-ups’ survival. Based on an empirical study from two different countries, the results show that effective networking is contingent on the start-up’s economic situation and creative potential. Specifically, the results point to situations in which early sales growth may lead to external networking, which, in contexts of low creativity-oriented start-ups, can compromise the start-ups’ success.

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