The Impact of team heterogeneity and tie strength on entrepreneurial team innovative capabilities: from the internal social network perspective

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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Degree programme
International Design Business Management
Innovation, as a great impetus for the development of the society, has been widely discussed at the national strategic level. Accordingly, as effective ways of innovation, entrepreneurial activities are emerging worldwide. As such, entrepreneurial teams are receiving extensive attention. At present, some scholars have begun to explore entrepreneurial team innovative capabilities from the perspective of social net-work. However, most of them either pay much attention to the impact that the external social net-work brings to entrepreneurial performance or focus merely on one of the dimensions of social network. This research, based on the perspective of internal social network, focused on the impact of team heterogeneity and tie strength on entrepreneurial team innovative capabilities. Specifically, this research explored the following issues: what is the relationship between team heterogeneity and innovative capabilities? What is the relationship between tie strength and innovative capabilities? Is there a nonlinear relationship between the variables such as inverted U-shaped relationship? How do network heterogeneity and tie strength interact with each other? In order to answer these questions, this study firstly defined the concept of entrepreneurial team, entrepreneurial team heterogeneity, tie strength and innovative capabilities. Moreover, dif-ferent dimensions of the variables were clarified. Then, conceptual model and related hypotheses were put forward based on literature review and theoretical analysis. After a preliminary verifica-tion of the research model via case study, empirical study was carried out through hierarchical regression analysis based on the 64 samples collected from several cities of China. The following findings were obtained: (1) Entrepreneurial team heterogeneity significantly influences the innovative capabilities of the team; individual characteristic heterogeneity and information heterogeneity have positive impact on innovative capabilities while heterogeneity of values has no significant influence. (2) Tie strength lays a significant impact on the innovative capabilities of entrepreneurial teams, and there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between the two, implying that there is an optimal level of tie strength which enhances innovative capabilities the most. (3) There is a positive moderating effect of team heterogeneity on the relationship between tie strength and team innovative capabilities. After the conclusions were drawn, limitations and inadequacies of this study, as well as its man-agerial implications were discussed. Finally, future research directions of social network and en-trepreneurial team innovative capabilities were discussed.
Thesis advisor
Lehtonen, Miikka
entrepreneurial team, internal social network, team heterogeneity, tie strength, innovative capabilities
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