Open Access

Do entrepreneurial social networks boost enterprise growth? Evidence from the Pearl River Delta in China

Frontiers of Business Research in ChinaSelected Publications from Chinese Universities20104:108

Published: 24 August 2010


Against the backdrop of China’s traditional culture and economic transition, the effect of entrepreneurs’ social networks on enterprise growth has become an important topic attracting attention from both academics and practitioners. This paper decomposes entrepreneurs’ social networks into three dimensions: the external horizontal social network representing inter-firm relationship, external vertical social network in the form of interactions between enterprises and the government, and internal vertical social network referring to entrepreneurs’ control over enterprise operation. Results based on data from the Pearl River Delta reveal that all of the three dimensions of social network exert a positive impact on enterprise growth. The external horizontal social network plays the most influencing role, while the effects of the other two kinds of networks cannot be neglected either.


social networksenterprise growthprivate enterprisesdimensional structure