When Brokerage is Not Enough: A Multilevel Investigation of Middle Managers’ Network Position, Organizational Context and Entrepreneurial Behaviour



Drawing on the corporate entrepreneurship and social network literatures, this study develops a multilevel model of initiative-taking behaviour by middle managers. Our results, based on data collected from 383 middle managers and 72 senior executives in 34 business units, signified network brokerage as a necessary but insufficient condition for enhancing personal initiative. Brokerage only increased initiative when middle managers had accumulated political capital through supportive ties with senior executives. Further, the brokerage—personal initiative relationship was stronger in units with strong social context but weaker in units with high internal connectedness. These findings provide new insights into the contextual contingencies that enable or constrain middle managers to leverage their broker positions for pursuing corporate entrepreneurial behaviour.