Does culture and social capital impact on the networking attributes of indigenous entrepreneurs?

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Abstract

PurposeThe purpose this paper is to determine the impact that culture and social capital has on indigenous entrepreneurs' business networking.
Design/methodology/approachA comparative case study analysis was undertaken on a three‐nation sample of indigenous entrepreneurs in Australia, Hawaii and New Zealand. The specific research questions investigated were: does culture influence indigenous entrepreneurs' networking, and does social capital influence indigenous entrepreneurs' networking? Participants were stand‐alone commercial operators.
FindingsReduced social capital for indigenous Australians resulted in active social networking to be a necessity in the operation of their basic business functions, the role of the family was negligible to negative, they were dependent on racial acceptance, they experienced little diversity in their networking, their business relationships were often that of dependence with a distinct separation between social and business networking interactions. The Hawaiians displayed a solid cultural capital base with spontaneous drivers in the interaction of relationships, networks were culturally accepted, the family role was supportive, a dynamic networking interaction ensued, networking was diverse and well maintained, they took an avid interest in their networking relationship which for many was personal and their networking relationships were highly integrated between their social and business spheres. Maori displayed a solid cultural capital base. Networks were culturally accepted, the family role was supportive, a dynamic networking interaction ensued with strong economic motivators, networking was diverse and well maintained, they took an avid interest in their networking relationship which culturally supported and their networking relationships were highly integrated between their social and business spheres.
Practical implicationsThis research provides an increased understanding of the business environment for policy makers, NGOs, business support organisations and the indigenous entrepreneurs themselves. The relationship between culture and social networking which is stimulated or reduced by the presence of varying levels of social capital can and will assist the indigenous entrepreneurs in their business planning.
Originality/valueThis paper provides the reader with a new perspective on how the existence of social capital impacts on networking for indigenous entrepreneurs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-224
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes

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