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Social Capital: a Road Map of Theoretical Frameworks and Empirical Limitations

  • Luca Andriani

    ()

    (Department of Management, Birkbeck College University of London)

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    The general idea of social capital is that relationships matter. In this sense, trust, cooperation and reciprocity involved in these relationships can have a positive impact on the wealth of the society by reducing transaction costs, facilitating collective actions and lowering opportunistic behaviour. This work sheds light on the different theoretical and empirical problems that a scholar is likely to face in dealing with social capital research and analysis. We propose a critical road map of the social capital theories and applications for a general audience, non-users included, with particular attention to the works of political and social economists. We provide a critical debate on the different definitions and measures produced, the theoretical frameworks developed and the empirical techniques adopted so far in the analysis of the impact of social capital on socio-economic outcomes. We stress on the limitations of these techniques and we suggest some basic strategies to reduce the magnitude of these limitations.

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    File URL: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/management/docs/workingpapers/WP1.pdf
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    Paper provided by Birkbeck Department of Management in its series Management Working Papers with number 1.

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    Length: 26 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2013
    Date of revision: Jan 2013
    Publication status: Published on Birkbeck Deparment of Management web site, January 2013, pages 1-26
    Handle: RePEc:img:wpaper:1
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/management/

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    1. Hollenstein, Heinz, 2003. "Innovation modes in the Swiss service sector: a cluster analysis based on firm-level data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 845-863, May.
    2. Dahlander, Linus & Gann, David M., 2010. "How open is innovation?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 699-709, July.
    3. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
    4. Leiponen, Aija & Drejer, Ina, 2007. "What exactly are technological regimes?: Intra-industry heterogeneity in the organization of innovation activities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1221-1238, October.
    5. Jensen, Morten Berg & Johnson, Bjorn & Lorenz, Edward & Lundvall, Bengt Ake, 2007. "Forms of knowledge and modes of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 680-693, June.
    6. Anthony Arundel & Edward Lorenz & Bengt-�ke Lundvall & Antoine Valeyre, 2007. "How Europe's economies learn: a comparison of work organization and innovation mode for the EU-15," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(6), pages 1175-1210, December.
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