Original Research

The networking practices of businesswomen

Marlene Bogaards, Saskia De Klerk, Karina Mostert
Acta Commercii | Vol 11, No 1 | a152 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v11i1.152 | © 2011 Marlene Bogaards, Saskia De Klerk, Karina Mostert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 December 2011 | Published: 06 December 2011

About the author(s)

Marlene Bogaards, School of Business Management, North-West University, South Africa
Saskia De Klerk, School of Business Management, North-West University, South Africa
Karina Mostert, School of Human Resources Sciences, North-West University, South Africa

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Abstract

Purpose: The primary objective of this study was to investigate the networking practices of businesswomen in the Gauteng Province, South Africa. The study of businesswomen's networking practices can provide critical insight into the manner in which networking can assist businesswomen in personal and professional skills development.

Problem investigated: An investigation was conducted into the manner in which the concepts of networking and social networking are perceived by businesswomen in Gauteng. The study further investigated the motivation behind businesswomen's networking practices and the contents of their social networks were explored.

Design/methodology/approach: A non-probability purposive sample, followed by snowball sampling, was used to select businesswomen for in-depth interviews (n = 31). In-depth interviews were used as a qualitative method to investigate the networking practices of these participants.

Findings: The results indicate that businesswomen have various perceptions regarding the concepts of networking and social networking. It was also found that businesswomen include certain types of people in their social networks and that they receive various business and personal benefits when their networking is focused (having a clear objective to networking).

Originality/value: These findings provide a background to the manner in which businesswomen perceive networking and social networking. This can serve as a basis for training initiatives to raise businesswomen's awareness of networking and social networking. Aforementioned may also provide insight into the meaning this may hold for them in their work and personal lives (for example, obtaining insight into the manner in which networking can be used to obtain business and personal support). Information derived from this study can further be utilised by businesswomen to assist them in social network development.

Conclusion: It was concluded from the study that businesswomen perceive networking and social networking in various ways (for example, that networking is a skill that can be learnt and that social networking is a way in which individuals can develop friendships). It was further concluded that businesswomen derive various business and personal benefits from their networks, and that businesswomen include various kinds of people in their networks, including supportive people and people with similar values. It was also concluded that business contacts can be found in social environments.


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