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Acquiring Intangible Resources through Entrepreneurs' Network Ties: A Study of Chinese Economy Hotel Chains

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Cornell Hospitality Quarterly

Published online on


Based on two phases of in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs who own China’s economy hotel chains, this research explored these entrepreneurs’ strategies for acquiring intangible resources through network ties and summarized the mix of strong and weak network ties that they used to acquire those resources at different development stages of their new firms. In the early start-up stage, the interviewed entrepreneurs used a mixture of strong and weak ties; in the establishment stage, they relied on strong ties; and in the final growth stage, they did not value network ties and only used weak business ties. Moreover, the network mixes used by these entrepreneurs to acquire different types of intangible resources are not identical. Sourcing human capital was a particularly valuable use of the network ties, both strong and weak, and many of the respondents used their ties to gain essential information and skills for running their hotels. The two-stage data collection revealed the dynamics of entrepreneurs’ network mixes as firms progressed to new development stages.