Emotional Intelligence as a Tool for Developing Entrepreneurial Professional Networks

Wilbert R. Mutoko, Jennifer Chishamiso Nzonzo


This paper seeks to investigate how Emotional Intelligence (EI) impacts on the relationship between entrepreneurial competence and the development of professional networks. A qualitative methodology was adopted in this survey using structured face-to-face interviews which were administered to a sample of 10 entrepreneurs who own manufacturing Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) based in Gaborone, Botswana. Thematic analysis was used as data analysis strategy. The key findings of the research are that firstly, EI plays an important role in developing professional networks. Secondly, the main benefits of networking are advice; friendship; information sharing and training opportunities. Thirdly, entrepreneurs develop entrepreneurial professional networks through networking with individuals of their own nationality; engaging with other members of the local business community and international networks. This study has provided important insights of interest, to entrepreneurs, scholars and policy makers. However the research was based on a qualitative methodology, future research can be undertaken using a mixed methodology. Furthermore additional research can be undertaken using a comparative analysis of different African countries in order to come up with a multifaceted approach to the role of EI in the development of entrepreneurial professional networks. This paper motivated a debate on the link between EI and the development of professional networks and how these variables determine Entrepreneurial success. While there appears to be a clear relationship between EI and the development of entrepreneurial networks measurement instruments that can show the contributions of each variable to entrepreneurial success need to be contextualised.      

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jebi.v3i1.9284


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Copyright (c) 2016 Wilbert R. Mutoko, Jennifer Chishamiso Nzonzo

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