The Fundamentals of Social Capital

The Fundamentals of Social Capital

Kijpokin Kasemsap (Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Thailand)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 34
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1744-3.ch010


This chapter explains the overview of social capital (SC); the dimensions of SC; SC, culture, and architecture; SC and economic growth; SC and knowledge management (KM); SC and social networking sites (SNSs); SC and health perspectives; and the significance of SC in the digital age. SC refers to the institutions, relationships, and norms that shape the quality and quantity of a society's social interactions. SC involves establishing trust, norm, and network. SC is a quality derived from the structure of an individual's network relationships in the community, and relates to architectural design, culture, belief, economic growth, and business success. SC provides the relationships through which an entrepreneur receives opportunities to utilize human capital and financial capital in global business. The chapter argues that promoting SC has the potential to improve business performance and gain sustainable competitive advantage in global business.
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The concept of SC was originally developed to describe the relational resources in the community of social organizations (Tsai & Ghoshal, 1998). The concept of SC was later introduced into the research area related to information and KM (Li, Guo, Chen, & Luo, 2015). The concept of SC is common to the social sciences (Bjørnskov & Sønderskov, 2013) and community psychology (Neal, 2015). According to Putnam (2000), two types of SC are most recognized: bridging and bonding. Oztok et al. (2015) stated that bridging SC refers to the relationships with people from various communities, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Bridging SC provides a foundation for collective action (Pigg & Crank, 2004). Bonding SC refers to the strong ties of attachment between relatively homogeneous individuals (Oztok et al., 2015).

Barnes-Mauthe et al. (2015) indicated that social networks and the patterns of relationships between individuals and groups are tied to the notion of SC. Bridging SC, as manifested in general trust and inclusive social networks, tends to positively affect the villages’ development performance (Xia, 2014). Bonding SC, as manifested in particular trust and exclusive social networks, tends to negatively affect the villages’ development performance (Xia, 2014). Individuals with similar backgrounds establish the higher levels of bonding SC (Lesser & Prusak, 2000), which leads them to maintain the peer relationships (Tseng & Kuo, 2010).

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