Ecologies of innovation among small and medium enterprises in Uganda as a mediator of entrepreneurial networking and opportunity exploitation
Ntayi, Joseph Mpeera.
Munene, John C.
Kagaari, R.K. James.
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This paper examines the mediating effect of ecologies of innovation on the relationship between entrepreneurial networking and opportunity exploitation among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Uganda. The study design was a cross-sectional survey, data were analysed using SPSS and Analysis of Moment Structure on a sample of 228 SMEs. The mediated model provides support for the hypothesis that ecologies of innovation partially mediate the relationship between entrepreneurial networking and opportunity exploitation. This confirms that the presence of ecologies of innovation significantly acts as a conduit in the association between entrepreneurial networking and opportunity exploitation. The practical implications are that opportunity exploitation can be understood and predicted through ecologies of innovation, entrepreneurial networking can also predict opportunity exploitation directly. Business owners and managers need to fully understand and utilise the ecologies of innovation to exploit opportunities effectively. Social implications, a deeper understanding of how entrepreneurial networking and ecologies of innovation affect employee relations will not be fully realised until employers create a platform for rational thinking, creativity and learning about this interaction. This study utilises social network theory to extend the existing research on opportunity exploitation.