Mentoring Informal Networks in the Technological Based Incubator Environment: The Support to the Entrepreneurial Career Development

Helder Pontes Régis, Sônia Maria Rodrigues Calado Dias, Paulo Thiago Nunes Bezerra de Melo

Abstract


This study describes the structure of the incubated entrepreneurs’ networks. More specifically, it shows the embedded mentoring relationships in the network structures as part of the entrepreneurial career development. It is a case study that involved technological based incubators of Recife - Brazil. The mentoring informal networks are analyzed in order to show the individuals relevant positions. For the mentoring functions evaluation, an instrument was built and validated. Sociograms were constructed by means of Ucinet and Netdraw. The analysis enable the identification of the actors that perform important roles to the mentoring informal networks maintenance and expansion, as well as important roles to the relationships dynamics. The findings give evidence that the entrepreneurs’ networks structures are based on mentors’ social roles diversity and on strong ties. The theoretical and practical implications for the incubated entrepreneurs’ network construction are discussed, along with suggestions for future research.

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