Social Capital, Institutions and Collective Action Between Firms
This work is based on the hypothesis that explanation of collective action between firms requires partly different variables from that used in explaining collective action between individuals. In order to look at the problem of what determines collective action, a model has been built using alongside social capital, the historical tradition of collective action and the activism of institutional actors as explicative variables of associationism between firms. The empirical results confirm the theoretical hypotheses put forward in the first part of the paper. First, social capital, institutional activism and experience accumulation, all together, enhance the propensity to collective action between firms. Each variable plays a significant role in explaining inter-firm co-operation. Secondly, these variables, however, affect the behaviour of small firms while the large ones appear to follow a different pattern of conduct. Thirdly, the empirical findings seem also to suggest that social capital and institutional proactive initiative produce synergic effects on collective action. The two variables reinforce each other in their effects on co-operation. Finally, the positive correlation between social capital and institutional initiative emerging from the empirical results suggests that an increase in the endowment of social capital tends to rise the level of institutional activity and the other way round.
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