The entrepreneurial mindset is crucial to build and manage social networks. Entrepreneurs have proven to be skillful social networks builders and users (Stuart & Sorenson, 2005). Nevertheless, an entrepreneurial mindset is not limited only to entrepreneurs, organizations are made of people where social networks play a very important role in order to create, maintain and develop patterns of communications among people. Analyzing the entrepreneurial personality, researchers have found many traits in successful entrepreneurs along history. According to McClelland (1986), the key to entrepreneurial success is the need for achievement, which is explained by the urgency of coming up with the new, to create and to make things happen. An important aspect to be considered is that an entrepreneur does not act alone; he or she always depends on others to go on, therefore making use of networks. Another important characteristic of an entrepreneur is the ability to take calculated risks (Hornaday, 1982), being the opposite of what many people think, the real entrepreneur will take risks, however with a very clear understanding of the situation and the risks will be moderated not high. Social competence (Baron, 2000) is higher than average when talking about entrepreneurial behavior; there is a high social perception and extreme capacity to adapt to new social situations. The flow of information and knowledge has been considered the lifeblood of many organizations, especially the ones based on the knowledge economy. Considering the emergent knowledge society, change agents are necessary to provide a dynamic equilibrium to our changing organizational environment and acting with an entrepreneurial mind will allow individuals and organizations to act proactively identifying opportunities and mobilizing resources (Stuart & Sorenson, 2005).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Human Capital: The knowledge, skills, and competencies of people. Human capital is valuable as the renewable part of intellectual capital. It is the constant source of creativity, innovation, and ability to change.
Structural Holes: Static holes that can be strategically filled by connecting one or more links to link together other points inside a network.
Innovation: The introduction of new ideas, goods, services, and practices which are intended to be useful. Scholars classify five main types of innovation: product innovation, process innovation, organizational innovation, marketing innovation and business model innovation.
Weak Ties: Network relationships with casual acquaintances, which can provide new information and knowledge.
Intrapreneurship: The application of entrepreneurial skills and approaches within or by a corporation.
Strong Ties: Network relationships, typically formed between like minded individuals that tend to reinforce insights and ideas that others already have.
Social Capital: The degree to which a community or society collaborates and cooperates (through such mechanisms as networks, shared trust, norms and values) to achieve mutual benefits.
Six Degrees of Separation: The theory that anyone on earth can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.
Knowledge Economy: An economy characterized by the recognition of knowledge as a source of competitiveness, the increasing importance of science, research, technology and innovation in knowledge creation, and the use of computers and the Internet to generate, share and apply knowledge.
Creativity: The ability to create knowledge and to solve problems that are worth solving.