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Business owners’ network size and business growth in China: The role of comprehensive social competency

2010

Xiang-yang Zhao MICHAEL FRESE Angelo Giardini

The authors present a model that explains how comprehensive social competency (made up of three components ? social skills, proactive and elaborate social strategies, and relational perseverance) is related to business people’s network development, and how social networks in turn are related to business growth. We conducted two studies with Chinese small business owners, ? one in the capital city Beijing (N?=?133) and a second one in the less developed rural region of Xunyi (N?=?78). Comprehensive social competency was consistently related to network size and business growth. In addition, government network size was related to the business growth since start-up in both studies (employee growth in Study 1 and personal asset growth in Study 2), but business network size was not related to business growth. Government network size also functions as a partial mediator between comprehensive social competency and business growth since start-up. Some differences are found between the rural area and the urban centre.

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