Entrepreneurs’ social networks play a crucial role in developing knowledge-based resources for their new ventures. Although most studies in an entrepreneurship context find that trust is very important when entrepreneurs develop social networks, limited research examines how trust can explain the variation in the relationship between an entrepreneur’s social networks and a firm’s knowledge-based resources. Therefore, the major objective of the paper is to understand the effects of the size of an entrepreneur’s social network on his or her firm’s knowledge-based resources with high and low levels of trust. Our data were collected from surveys administered to 476 entrepreneurs in China in 2018. Our multiple regression analysis indicates that social networks reinforce knowledge-based resources in a situation where entrepreneurs highly trust their major networks partners in their business environment (e.g., family, close friends, consultants, suppliers, peers, etc.). However, with a low level of trust, the relationship between social network and knowledge-based resources is curvilinear (inverse U-shaped). Our empirical validations showed that the relationship between social network and a firm’s knowledge-based resources is highly contingent to the level of trust among network members.
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