The emergence of social embeddedness in academic and software start-ups’ cohesive networks

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

IT115, Linnanmaa

Topic of the dissertation

The emergence of social embeddedness in academic and software start-ups’ cohesive networks

Doctoral candidate

Master of Science Joni Rautio

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, M3S

Subject of study

Information processing science


Dean, Professor Pasi Tyrväinen, University of Jyväskylä


Docent Kari Liukkunen, University of Oulu

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Social relations in academic and software start-up networks

The dissertation used qualitative, multiple case study research method to investigate the emergence of social embeddedness through economic actions in start-ups’ cohesive networks. The purpose was to understand whether the acquisition of human resources is inherently enmeshed in the social relations of cohesive networks in software and academic start-ups. The research was conducted in Finnish academic start-up companies and software start-up companies that operated, for example, in local business accelerators.

Based on the results, the role of social relations was particularly emphasized in academic start-up companies already in the initial stages of their development. Often even before companies were founded, as a dense network of social relations within the university, which included the people who generate the most added value. The role of the founding entrepreneur as the visionary of the company was also strongly highlighted, as well as the cooperation between the founding team members when solving technical challenges related to software innovations. Similarly, in software start-ups, the role of social relations was smaller in the early stages of the companies' development.

A network of social relations that produce added value emerged as the company developed. These networks consisted of founding team members, peers and experienced colleagues in the same business. The role of physical locations was also found to be significant in the business development of start-ups. The community should thus make new investments for the future by increasing the services and physical locations where various entrepreneur generations may discuss business ideas, but also to provide emotional support, which is just as important as business development support.
Last updated: 23.1.2024