Social capital and business and management: Setting a research agenda

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This paper adopts the template of systematic reviewing and provides an up-to-date synthesis of the literature on social capital and business and management. The review demonstrates that social capital research is concentrated into three core dimensions: structural, relational and cognitive. First, structural social capital includes social interaction and the frequency of contact and connectivity levels among and between actors’ network relations. Secondly, relational social capital refers to the underlying normative conditions of trust, obligation, expectation and identity that guide actors’ network relations. Thirdly, cognitive social capital refers to the meaningful contexts of communication among and between actors, and includes the shared language, codes and narratives used to create understanding. However, the rich linkages between structural, relational and cognitive social capital across equivalent/hierarchical social space and geographical boundaries are neglected. A further research focus identified is that the role of face-to-face and the increasingly routine tool of electronic mediated communication may produce different characteristics and levels of social capital. The paper also discusses the ways in which critical realism and mixed methodology may enhance understanding of the process-based linkages between structural, relational and cognitive social capital.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-273
JournalInternational Journal of Management Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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