Research has shown that innovation, as a form of entrepreneurship, leverages social networks and enable entrepreneurs to access external resources and knowledge. This paper investigates the effect of entrepreneurs’ networks on innovation outcomes within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The paper analyses the role of cultural contingencies, notably social norms on innovation. In addition to culture, a comprehensive model is posited that integrates cognitive and motivational aspects and examines their role on the relationship of networks and innovation. The proposed model is tested using SEM. The results confirm the relevance of networks for innovation outcomes in the MENA region. The entrepreneurs in the MENA region mainly rely on private networks, which have no relevance for innovation, unlike professional and international networks. Moreover, cultural environment has a negative effect on innovation outcomes. It is observed that network relations enhance motivation positively and motivation in turn impacts innovation in a positive manner.
Keywords: innovation, network, motivation, entrepreneurial competency, social norms