The strength of trust, social norms and entrepreneurship for trade networks

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


This paper suggests that the key to entrepreneurial success lies in the ability to maintain trust-based networks and respect social norms. In elaborating this proposition, this article draws on the results of an exploratory study of 30 Nigerian traders to demonstrate how using an ‘institutional’ lens provides new insights into the influence of trust and indigenous norms on entrepreneurial behaviour. The concept of morality which presupposes an understanding of entrepreneurial behaviour, is introduced to offer a supple and adaptable explanation for how actors rely on social norms to build trade networks. At the centre, trust was found to be indispensable to networks relationships and necessary for enforcing sanctions. The results facilitate a rich understanding of how a range of trust-based networks relationships and hybrid indigenous norms underpin entrepreneurial behaviour in Nigeria. The study contributes by providing well founded insights into the entrepreneurship within an African context.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11584
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • norms
  • networks
  • trust
  • institutions
  • Nigeria
  • Africa


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