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Internet Based Networking  Websites (IBNWs) & Entrepreneurship
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

New technologies are changing the way entrepreneurs network. Internet Based Neworking 

Websites (IBNWs) are re shaping the process in which we network and communicate with 

one another, on a personal and also on a professional level. The biggest example of this is 

the incredible rise of IBNWs such as Facebook and LinkedIn that together hold more than 

300 million users.  This is a very new form of networking where individuals are able to 

communicate and connect with an almost limitless amount of people, regardless of their 

geographical location. The more traditional forms of  networking are seen as phone calls 

and face to face communication, while in the last two decades email has also been 

incorporated into a common and professional form of networking for the purpose of 

business. Since IBNWs are a new form of maintaining relationships, for our thesis we have 

decided to address the question of how IBNWs affect the process of networking during the 

development of ventures.  


In the thesis we explore the concepts put forward by authors such as; Granovetter, Hoang 

and Antoncic, Aldrich and Zimmer, Deutsch, Sonnenberg among others. In addition we 

used the structure used by Hoand and Antoncic to create a framework when analyzing the 

networking process though IBNWs. This framework is split in to three categories: Network 

structure, governance, and content. Using a qualitative interpretivist approach we have 

developed an extensive case study and we have interviewed ten entrepreneurs from a wide 

array of industries and locations. To help us analyze the data retrieved we have also 

interviewed an expert in the field of business and internet landscaping. The aim of the study 

is to generate a new framework for networking in the 21st century in light of the IBNW 

boom.  The findings demonstrate that IBNWs are being used widely by entrepreneurs, but 

mainly for advices and information or in other words, providing low commitment content. 

We have concluded that IBNWs are perceived as an informal cold and weak form of 

networking and maintaining business networks and if relationships where to progress to 

higher levels of commitment then entepreneurs will turn to more traditional ways of 

network maintenance such as face-to-face meetings. 


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 59 p.
Umeå studies in the humanities, ISSN 0345-0155
Keyword [en]
Networking Social Networks Entrepreneurship Facebook LinkedIn
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-45173OAI: diva2:426671
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-06-27 Created: 2011-06-24 Last updated: 2011-06-27Bibliographically approved

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