Social Network Capital and Academic Careers
Social Network Capital and Academic Careers: The Case of a College of Agriculture ABSTRACT The relationship between economic performance and various forms of capital anchors a significant portion of mainstream economic theory and applied economics. Human, physical and financial capital represent important factors in the production of goods and services. The label “capital” implies characteristics such as investment, accumulation, maintenance, depreciation, and transfer. Recently, social capital or social network capital (SNC) has received increased scholarly attention in the literature of sociology, business, and economics. Limited analysis, however, has been directed at the role of SNC in the academy. We hypothesize that academic success at the professorial level is determined by the stock of human (HC) and SNC and the value flows emerging from these stocks. We view SNC as a complement to HC, increasing the productivity of HC while holding all other factors constant. An analysis of SNC’s importance to academic career success should interest the academy as well as other large organizations (i.e. research laboratories, government agencies) with similar structures and incentive systems.
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