Informations and abstract
Keywords: social networks, inter-firms cooperation, territorial clusters, governance, economic sociology.
This paper argues that cooperation among competitors is facilitated by social processes (among others: learning, bounded solidarity, social control, regulation) that can be modelled using network analyses. Entrepreneurs get involved in social exchanges and these exchanges require relational investments, protection of these investments, social niche seeking and status competition - which trigger and drive these social processes. To illustrate this theory, I draw on sociological research using the analysis of social and organizational networks in business. These analyses model and substantiate the complex social discipline that helps interdependent, but competing entrepreneurs cooperate. Finally, I speculate about the implications of this knowledge of complex interdependencies and coordination, social discipline and social processes among entrepreneurs for public authorities involved in social control of markets.