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Measuring enterprises’ investments in social capital - a pilot study

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  • Hans Westlund

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  • Elin Nilsson

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Abstract

Research on the impact of social capital on economic growth has mainly focused on civil society’s social capital. The social capital related to enterprises has received little attention. This paper aims at developing a method for measuring enterprises’ investments in social capital. We define enterprise-related social capital as social and economic networks in which enterprises intentionally and unintentionally invest and interact in. Certain components of these networks are open for ownership while others are not. Interaction in these networks generates network advantages and economic utility in individual firms as well as in the place/region in which they are located. Based on a division in internal and external social capital, we divide the latter in production-related, environment-related and market-related respectively. We differ between the networks’ links and the norms, values, etc that are distributed in the links by the nodes/enterprises. The study is delimited to measurement of the existence and structure of the links. The study shows that it is possible to measure enterprises’ investments (in money or time) in social capital. We also found some significant indications on connections between investments in social capital and the enterprises’ growth, however without being able to establish any casual relationship. Due to the limited number of participating enterprises these connections are merely indications.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Westlund & Elin Nilsson, 2003. "Measuring enterprises’ investments in social capital - a pilot study," ERSA conference papers ersa03p235, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa03p235
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roberta Capello, 2001. "Spatial and Sectoral Characteristics of Relational Capital in Innovation Activity," ERSA conference papers ersa01p220, European Regional Science Association.
    2. James E. Rauch, 2001. "Business and Social Networks in International Trade," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1177-1203, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nijkamp, P. & Stough, R. & Sahin, M., 2009. "Impact of social and human capital on business performance of migrant entrepreneurs - a comparative dutch-us study," Serie Research Memoranda 0017, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    2. Westlund, Hans & Calidoni-Lundberg, Federica, 2007. "THE CREATIVE CLASS AND SOCIAL CAPITAL - civil society, regional development and high-tech employment in Japan," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 112, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    3. Roel Rutten & Hans Westlund & Frans Boekema, 2010. "The Spatial Dimension of Social Capital," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(6), pages 863-871, June.
    4. Malgorzata Gajowiak, 2013. "The Role Of Social Capital In The Activities Of Internationalized Food Processing Smes. Confrontation Of Theoretical Findings With Empirical Ones," Oeconomia Copernicana, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 4(4), pages 59-76, December.
    5. Mediha Sahin & Peter Nijkamp & Roger Stough, 2011. "Impact of urban conditions on firm performance of migrant entrepreneurs: a comparative Dutch–US study," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 46(3), pages 661-689, June.
    6. Stanislaw Walukiewicz & Aneta Wiktorzak, 2011. "Social Capital in Education," ERSA conference papers ersa10p632, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Sibylle Puntscher & Christoph Hauser & Karin Pichler & Gottfried Tappeiner, 2014. "Social Capital and Collective Memory: A Complex Relationship," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 116-132, February.
    8. Gudrun Kochendorfer-Lucius & Boris Pleskovic, 2009. "Berlin Workshop Series 2009 : Spatial Disparities and Development Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2650.
    9. Sriya Iyer & Michael Kitson & Bernard Toh, 2005. "Social capital, economic growth and regional development," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(8), pages 1015-1040.
    10. Stanislaw Walukiewicz, 2011. "Measuring Social Capital and Proximimty," ERSA conference papers ersa10p309, European Regional Science Association.
    11. Matteo Migheli, 2013. "Relational capital, profitability and access to credit: evidence from a sample of Italian small firms," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 60(2), pages 221-233, June.

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    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory

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