This special issue focuses on empirical and theoretical papers that help us to better understand the strategy and governance of entrepreneurial networks, such as franchise chains, alliances, and cooperative networks. The following central themes are covered: (I) Which formal governance mechanisms do entrepreneurial networks use in order to reduce transaction cost/agency cost and to increase strategic value? (II) What is the role of relational governance mechanisms (such as information exchange and social ties) for the performance outcomes in franchise chains and cooperatives? (III) Which alliance strategies do entrepreneurial firms pursue to realize a competitive advantage, and what is the impact of resources and capabilities on performance outcomes of entrepreneurial firms. To address these issues, insights from organizational economics (transaction cost theory, agency theory, signaling theory), strategic management perspectives (resource-based, knowledge-based and organizational capabilities theory), entrepreneurship theory and the relational governance view are used.

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Keywords Alliances, Cooperatives, Entrepreneurial networks, Formal governance, Franchise networks, Organizational capabilities, Relational governance, Strategies
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Series ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal Small Business Economics: an entrepreneurship journal
Windsperger, J, Hendrikse, G.W.J, Cliquet, G, & Ehrmann, T. (2017). Governance and strategy of entrepreneurial networks: an introduction. Small Business Economics: an entrepreneurship journal, 1–6. doi:10.1007/s11187-017-9888-0