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Small Firms, Social Capital and the Enhancement of Business Performance through Innovation Programmes

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  • Cooke, Philip
  • Wills, David
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    Abstract

    The paper explores the extent to which social capital is advantageous to small and medium enterprise (SME) growth. Social capital is a communal property involving civic engagement, associational membership, high trust, reliability and reciprocity in social networks. It is capable of being identified in social, political and economic contexts, often associated with strong communities. However, not all strong communities exert the effects of social capital in respect of business activities. This paper assesses government programmes to promote collaboration amongst SMEs for improving innovation capacity by increasing social capital through networking. It shows that, for a sizeable proportion of programme-funded firms in Denmark, Ireland and Wales (U.K.) social capital building was associated with enhanced business, knowledge and innovation performance. Of particular importance was the opportunity afforded to firms for linkage with external innovation networks, and the build-up of embeddedness, or the institutional basis for the enhancement of social capital. As a consequence of discovering the advantages of social capital, over a third of respondents planned to continue to develop it in future, in many cases funding such activities privately rather than calling on the public purse. Copyright 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Small Business Economics.

    Volume (Year): 13 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 3 (November)
    Pages: 219-34

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:13:y:1999:i:3:p:219-34

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    Cited by:
    1. Tomlinson, Philip R. & Fai, Felicia M., 2013. "The nature of SME co-operation and innovation: A multi-scalar and multi-dimensional analysis," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 316-326.
    2. Ceci, Federica & Iubatti, Daniela, 2012. "Personal relationships and innovation diffusion in SME networks: A content analysis approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 565-579.
    3. Macpherson, Allan & Holt, Robin, 2007. "Knowledge, learning and small firm growth: A systematic review of the evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 172-192, March.
    4. Alberto Di Minin, 2004. "Innovation in peripheral economies: the case of Pisa," Working Papers 200401, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, Istituto di Management.
    5. Jue Wang & Philip Shapira, 2012. "Partnering with universities: a good choice for nanotechnology start-up firms?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 197-215, February.
    6. Mason, Geoff & Beltramo, Jean-Paul & Paul, Jean-Jacques, 2004. "External knowledge sourcing in different national settings: a comparison of electronics establishments in Britain and France," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 53-72, January.
    7. Robert Nowacki & Marcin W. Staniewski, 2012. "Innovation in the Management of SMEs in the Service Sector in Poland," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 14(Special N), pages 755-773, November.
    8. Zhang, Junfu, 2007. "The Advantage of Experienced Start-Up Founders in Venture Capital Acquisition: Evidence from Serial Entrepreneurs," IZA Discussion Papers 2964, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Bezemer, Dirk & Dulleck, Uwe & Frijters, Paul, 2005. "Social Capital, Creative Destruction and Economic Development," Research Report 05C09, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    10. Jack, Sarah L., 2010. "Approaches to studying networks: Implications and outcomes," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 120-137, January.
    11. Anderson, Alistair R. & Miller, Claire J., 2003. ""Class matters": human and social capital in the entrepreneurial process," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 17-36, March.
    12. Waleed Omri & Audrey Becuwe, 2014. "Managerial characteristics and entrepreneurial internationalization: A study of Tunisian SMEs," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 8-42, March.
    13. Chaminade, Cristina & Vang, Jan, 2008. "Globalisation of knowledge production and regional innovation policy: Supporting specialized hubs in the Bangalore software industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1684-1696, December.
    14. Natário, Maria Manuela & Almeida Couto, João Pedro & Couto de Sousa, Maura Helena, 2012. "Innovation Processes of SMEs in Less Favoured Municipalities of Portugal," Investigaciones Regionales, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 22, pages 81-103.
    15. John Wilkinson, 2004. "The Food Processing Industry, Globalization and Developing Countries," The Electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, vol. 1(2), pages 184-201.
    16. Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees, 2008. "Matching demand and supply in the agricultural knowledge infrastructure: Experiences with innovation intermediaries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 260-276, June.
    17. Paulo Santos & Aurora A.C. Teixeira & Ana Brochado, 2006. "The ‘de-territorialisation of closeness’ - a typology of international successful R&D projects involving cultural and geographic proximity," FEP Working Papers 222, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    18. T Quince, 2001. "Entrepreneurial Collaboration: Terms of Endearment or Rules of Engagement?," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp207, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
    19. Mario Parrilli & Aitziber Elola, 2012. "The strength of science and technology drivers for SME innovation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 897-907, November.

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