Tera Galloway earned her Ph.D. in strategic management and entrepreneurship from Washington State University in 2012. Prior to returning to academia, she worked for two startup firms and served as an executive for six years in the health and wellness industry. Her teaching interests primarily include organizational strategy and business management.
Her main area of research focuses on organizational relationships such as alliances, “coopetition” among founders, and corporate and private venture capital. Additional interests include initial public offerings (IPOs), organizational misconduct, stigma, and legitimacy spillover. Publication and conference presentations have included Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC), and both regional and national Academy of Management conferences.
In this study, we surveyed 343 artisan entrepreneurs who sold their products on e-commerce websites such as Etsy and Artfire. While it is often assumed that competitors rarely offer advice or assistance help each other, we found that not only do Artisan entrepreneurs provide advice and support to their peers (i.e. competitors), but different motivations (creative expression vs. independence/money) impact the value that these entrepreneurs place on the advice/support that they receive, and the type of advice that they provide. Further, we find that entrepreneurs who utilize peer networks tend to not only offer more assistance to their competitors, but they are also more successful.
Taking into account small business owners’ diverse motivations helps to illuminate not just how much networking they engage in, but why and how they do so. Further this study highlights the importance of peer advice, as peers may be especially suited to offer valuable advice since they are likely to have specialized knowledge. We also suggest that membership within formal peer networks may increase the quality of advice and support exchanged. As members engage in collaboration and cooperation within the network and develop trust, peers will not only receive more advice, but this advice may be “deeper” and provide more competitive “secrets” (i.e., relevant knowledge) that help entrepreneurs succeed. The advent of the Internet and societal changes are making it easier for the self-employed and entrepreneurially inclined to connect with geographically dispersed peers. Peer networking offers considerable potential for improving entrepreneurs’ confidence, decision making, and performance.
Kuhn, Kristine M. and Galloway, Tera L., "With a Little Help from My Competitors: Peer Networking Among Artisan Entrepreneurs" (May 2015). Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 39, Issue 3, pp. 571-600, 2015. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2595402 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/etap.12053