Having a good network within and outside the housing development industry has been identified as one of the success factors for housing developers. The purpose of this research is to explore the formation of networks by developers in relation to the different stages of their businesses. Based on the new institutional theory and the social network theory, several variables have been justified. About 600 questionnaires were distributed to owners or chief executive officers of housing development companies, and 54 were returned. The findings show that informal networking with strong ties (family/relatives/close friends) is dominant in the start–up phase, whereas weak ties (acquaintances) appear to be significant in the later stages of business. Strong ties help to provide the two main resources for housing projects (i.e. land and finance), whereas weak ties with people who happen to work in different organisations can influence relationships in the industry.
Keywords: social network theory, new institutional theory, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship, strong ties, weak ties, PHDs, private housing, housing developers, housing development industry, housing development networks, informal networking, business relationships