New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Edited by Meine Pieter van Dijk and Henry Sandee
Chapter 13: Social Capital and Technological Innovation Processes in the South
Chapter 13 15/3/02 8:52 am Page 1 13. Social capital and technological innovation processes in the South Árni Sverrisson The purpose of this chapter is to explore the idea of social capital, which is economically useful social connectivity, and its potential for understanding technological innovation in small enterprise clusters or enterprise collectives in the South. The chapter draws on field research carried out by the author over a number of years in different African countries and literature describing other experiences there and elsewhere,1 under different research contracts, which are gratefully acknowledged. The concept of social capital provides us with an opportunity to sharpen the focus of earlier findings based on network analysis and clustering concepts (Van Dijk and Rabellotti, eds, 1997). Although social capital is obviously related to modes of networking which in turn often presuppose spatial clustering, the concept of social capital opens interesting avenues for exploring how economic development is shaped by social contexts. More specifically, the concept of social capital, in distinction from more general ideas about networks and clusters, poses issues of how social networks are managed; how connections are accumulated, rationalized, and eventually devalued; how network connections established for other reasons take on economic significance; and how economic connections achieve social significance. The assumption frequently implicit in discussions about networks in clusters, that these are more effective the denser, more intense and more frequently observed they are, is thereby questioned. Perhaps a little less but more focused networking and somewhat sparser but more...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.