The Hugging Team: The Role of Technology in Business Networking Practices
Technological devices for social networking are produced in droves and networking through media seems to be the way of getting ahead in business. We examine what role technology plays in the creation, development and maintenance of business relationships among entrepreneurs in Copenhagen. We find that mediated communication is useful in all stages of relational maintenance but only in a supportive role in relational development where co-presence and shared personal experiences take center-stage, generating trust necessary for business relationships to work. These trust-developing experiences take effort and hard work and although they can be successfully supported and even facilitated through the use of communication technologies, they need not be replaced or made simpler. The difficulties of creating these experiences make working business relationships viable in the uncertain and risky world of entrepreneurship.