Beyond Spatial Proximity: The Impact of Enhanced Spatial Connectedness from New Bridges on Entrepreneurship

Sunasir Dutta, Daniel Erian Armanios, Jaison D. Desai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Various strands of work have explored how spatial proximity helps (metaphorically) bridge barriers to resource mobilization and foster knowledge transfer. However, much of that work takes spatial connectedness as a given.We argue that spatial connectedness is a distinct construct that affects the extent to which spaces are not just proximate but are actually able to link people, ideas, resources, and knowledge together. We explore one such source of connectedness-physical (not metaphorical) bridges. We find that the opening of newly built bridges enhances startup founding in the local geographic community. Beyond their impact on startup founding, newly built bridges also influence the organizing process for such ventures. This includes a positive impact on the entry of prospective founders into entrepreneurship and an increase in the number of early-stage investors. The subsequently founded ventures are also more likely to engage in recombination and to cross industry boundaries. We explore scope conditions around industry and connective heterogeneity. We also test for robustness to various modeling approaches. The discussion highlights contributions of these findings to the study of entrepreneurship, as well as of organizations and the institutional fields in which they operate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1620-1644
Number of pages25
JournalOrganization Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: During the research, the third author was partially funded by scholarships from the United States Army Advanced Civilian Schooling program, the Functional Area 49 (Operations Research & Systems Analysis) Proponent, and the Omar N. Bradley Officer Research Fellowship in Mathematics. Supplemental Material: The online appendix is available at

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 INFORMS Inst.for Operations Res.and the Management Sciences. All rights reserved.


  • connectedness
  • entrepreneurship
  • infrastructure
  • innovation
  • panel data methods
  • spatial influences


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