Network Advantage Within Chinese and Irish Software Firms
Chapter 4: A Theory of Cultural Capital
_____________________________________________________________ Entrepreneurs leverage the various forms of capital underlying firm capabilities as to compete in the market place. Traditionally, the capital of firms includes physical capital (machinery, equipment and building used in production), financial capital (money and paper assets that can be used to purchase factors of production) and human capital (stock of expertise accumulated by employees); social capital as defined in terms of the dyadic relationships between economic actors that facilitate the spillover of information, nevertheless, has become increasingly important in the past decades for its ability to enhance firms’ competitiveness. Actually, the idea of social capital goes back to Hobbes (1651) who stated that, ‘to have friends is power’; Hobbes, therefore, separated an individual’s capital into social capital and political capital and implied that wealth was linked to the amount of capital possessed. So, what is social capital? The general notion of social capital can be divided into structural capital (the structure of the overall network of relations), relational capital (the quality of personal relations within the network) and cognitive capital (the degree to which network participants share a common code and systems of meaning). Coleman (1988 p. 98) described the unique features of social capital as follows: ‘unlike other forms of capital, social capital inheres in the structure of relations between actors and among actors’ while Bourdieu and Wacquant (1992 p. 119), in a similar fashion, defined social capital as ‘the sum of resources, actual or virtual, that accrue to an individual or a group by virtue of...
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