Social networks as mediator in entrepreneurial optimism and new venture performance

Ying Chen1, Xiaohu Zhou1, Guojun Yang1, Jiani Bao1, Guan Wang1
1School of Economics and Management, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Chen, Y., Zhou, X., Yang, G., Bao, J., & Wang, G. (2017). Social networks as mediator in entrepreneurial optimism and new venture performance. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 45(4), 551-562.

Volume 45 Issue 4 | e5924 | Published: May 2017 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.5924

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Although findings reported in an increasing number of studies shed light on the relationship between optimism and entrepreneurial outcomes, little is known of the mechanisms by which entrepreneurial optimism influences new venture performance. Researchers have found that people who are highly optimistic build more extensive social networks than others do, which can influence the outcome of their efforts. In order to explore the relationships among entrepreneurial optimism, social networks, and new venture performance, we analyzed data obtained from 142 Chinese entrepreneurs. Results indicated that entrepreneurial optimism had a significant impact on social network size, social network heterogeneity, and new venture performance. Social network size fully mediated the relationship between entrepreneurial optimism and new venture performance, but social network heterogeneity did not have a mediating role. These findings support the application of a social network perspective to gain a better understanding of the mechanism by which entrepreneurial optimism influences new venture performance.

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