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Title: Sensing together : an exploration of the support of network intermediaries to firms' and entrepreneurs' search for new opportunities
Author: Giudici, Alessandro
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 9085
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2013
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This PhD thesis uses the lens of dynamic capability theory to explore how network intermediaries can support firms and entrepreneurs in their search for new opportunities, in the context of networking initiatives. Drawing on an extensive assessment of the literature and on rich evidence from multiple sources, it presents two interconnected empirical studies which offer several contributions to knowledge. The literature review systematically assesses dynamic capability research and contributes to it by demonstrating that, despite the challenges arising from a process of conceptual reification signaled in the literature, the dynamic capability construct is consolidating and needs more focused empirical investigation. It also identifies promising research gaps and offers suggestions to advance dynamic capability theory. Study 1 contributes to dynamic capability research by developing an outward-looking relational perspective which details how firms can deploy and further develop sensing dynamic capabilities in collaboration with network intermediaries. The study also confirms the importance of organizational self-awareness, brings managerial intentionality back to consideration, and sheds empirical light on the role of affective processes in dynamic capability research. Study 2 discusses how entrepreneurs participating in networking initiatives sensed for new opportunities by strategically using a richer repertoire of networking behaviors than prior research suggested. The study also contributes to entrepreneurship research by demonstrating that the networking behavior of all actors – not just the orchestrator/broker hosting the initiative – may be based on a combination of gaudens and iungens approaches. In addition, it discusses how two activity-based mechanisms, i.e. preparation and participation, may be influenced by hosts when designing networking initiatives to facilitate the emergence of new interorganizational relationships. Finally, the study argues that the combination of structured preparation and participation activities may support participants’ ambidextrous efforts to explore and exploit opportunities in networking events.
Supervisor: Reinmoeller, Patrick Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available