Mark Granovetter


A network view of entrepreneurship

Posted on May 5, 2010 by Tara Thiagarajan in Blog, Writing. 1 Comment

Here is a definition of entrepreneurship that I came across in another one of Mark Granovetter‘s articles called The Impact of Social Structure on Economic Outcomes. He writes:

Schumpeter defined entrepreneurship as the creation of new opportunities by pulling together previously unconnected resources for a new economic purpose.

Granovetter goes on to say:

One reason resources may be unconnected is that they reside in separated networks of individuals or transactions. Thus, the actor who sits astride structural holes in networks (as described in Burt, 1992) is well placed to innovate. The Norwegian anthropologist Fredrik Barth (1967) paid special attention to situations where goods traded against one another only in restricted circuits of exchange. He defined “entrepreneurship” as the ability to derive profit from breaching such previously separated spheres of exchange.

Schumpeter’s is an interesting definition and now ranks as the one I like best. … Read More »


The Strength of Weak Ties

Posted on May 3, 2010 by Tara Thiagarajan in Blog, Writing. 2 comments

I have been thinking a lot about how to understand poverty from the point of view of the properties of the social network. In this context, I thought I would share with you a very important paper by sociologist Mark Granovetter written in 1973 called ‘The Strength of Weak Ties’ which he has more recently revisited in a new paper called ‘The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited’. Here is an excerpt:

…..individuals with few weak ties will be deprived of information from distant parts of the social system and will be confined to the provincial news and views of their close friends. This deprivation will not only insulate them from the latest ideas and fashions but may put them in a disadvantaged position in the labor market, where advancement can depend, as I have documented elsewhere (1974), on … Read More »