Groups matter: The social embeddedness of entrepreneurial activity

This article argues that small groups matter in order to understand the coordination of
entrepreneurial activity. Not only do small groups form and reproduce during the collective
action of entrepreneurship, or rather entrepreneurial groups, but various forms of small groups
provide trust and solidarity that enables and shapes the formation and boundary maintenance
of entrepreneurial groups. Starting from a cursory overview of a sociology of entrepreneurship
and drawing from both insights of a group sociology and the discussion of Granovetter’s dual
problem of solidarity, this chapter identifies the variety of small groups as an important factor
to understanding the variety of entrepreneurial activity. A contrast of two examples within one
economic sphere, entrepreneurial families in German family capitalism, and start-up ventures
in the Berlin start up field, illustrates how various forms of entrepreneurial groups co-exist.
These forms draw from different small groups, the family and the work team, with their
respective institutional setting, when navigating the selection and exclusion of group members.
Overall, this chapter sets up small groups as an additional layer to be considered in the social
embeddedness of economic action.

Stamm, Isabell (2021): Groups Matter: the social embedding of entrepreneurship. In: Andrea Maurer: Handbook Economic Sociology. Springer Nature.



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