Promotion- and Prevention-Focused Networking and Its Consequences for Entrepreneurial Success

Jeffrey M. Pollack*, William R. Forster, Paul D. Johnson, Anthony Coy, Daniel C. Molden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Building and using social networks is an important factor in individuals’ personal as well as professional success. In the present work, we examine how individuals’ regulatory focus relates to their networking behavior. Findings from a sample of 300 entrepreneurs across 25 networking groups showed that a general focus on motivations for growth and advancement (promotion) predicted an increase in out-degree centrality (i.e., how much weekly, business-related contact entrepreneurs had with members in their own networking group), whereas a general focus on motivations for safety and security (prevention) predicted a decrease in out-degree centrality. Moreover, greater out-degree centrality further predicted an increase in the revenue entrepreneurs generated from members in their networking group. These findings demonstrate how individual differences affect personal motivations for how entrepreneurs’ develop and use their business networks and highlight the importance of motivations for growth and security in relationship formation and maintenance more generally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 20 2015


  • entrepreneur
  • networking
  • prevention
  • promotion
  • psychology
  • regulatory focus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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