Edited by Yaojun Li
Chapter 17: Social capital in inter-organizational partnership research
This chapter focuses on the use of social capital as a construct to examine and explain the formation and operation of inter-organizational partnerships. In particular it shows how social capital contributes to the sustainability of a public sector partnership. In this research context social capital is defined as the networks, trust, norms and values that enable individuals and organizations to achieve mutual goals through collaboration. This definition draws upon the author’s empirical research on partnerships and partnership working in the field of post-compulsory education and her practical experience of establishing, managing and leading international partnerships for teaching and research in teacher education. The emphasis is on the practical application of social capital to qualitative data and on identifying sources of evidence, including research literature from different disciplines in the social sciences, to interpret and theorize primary data. The first section of the chapter considers the complexities of defining social capital in the context of rival theoretical and political perspectives and leads to a discussion of the dimensions of social capital that are found in effective and sustained partnerships.
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