The Strategic Value of Social Capital

The Strategic Value of Social Capital

How Firms Capitalize on Social Assets

Francesca Masciarelli

This groundbreaking book explores whether, how and why firms may generate value from social assets. Based on original empirical evidence, this is the first book that systematically integrates different approaches to social capital and develops a new and more comprehensive framework that relates social capital to various firm’s strategies.

Chapter 7: Conclusions

Francesca Masciarelli

Subjects: business and management, human resource management


The chapters in this book have explored the nature and the dynamics of social capital and its implications for the competitiveness of firms. The study on which the book is based uses original data to extend and refine our understanding of social capital and demonstrate how social capital is a source of competitive advantage for firms. Specifically, I have investigated how firms capitalize on geographically bound and an entrepreneur’s social capital. The empirical evidence related to the role of geographically bound social capital confirms key insights from previous research and demonstrates that the level of the social capital embedded in the firm’s context shapes its innovation activity through localized connectivity and communication effects. Additionally, I have shown that geographically bound social capital is an important driving force behind the relationship between firms and their banks. Concerning an entrepreneur’s social capital, I have provided empirical support for a positive relationship between the entrepreneur’s social capital and firms’ innovation capabilities. Moreover, the study in this book shows that an entrepreneur’s social capital increases the probability that the offshoring of intangibles by a firm leads to higher performance, and also affects the succession process in family firms. In this concluding chapter, I examine the implications and main contributions of this book. The research findings relate to two main themes: the relevance of geographically bound social capital in defining firm competitiveness; and how firms generate value from individual social capital. The theoretical implications of the findings in this book and their contribution for practice...

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