Show Less

Handbook of Research in International Human Resource Management

Edited by Günter K. Stahl and Ingmar Björkman

In providing an insightful overview of a wide range of global human resource issues facing MNCs, this pathbreaking Handbook highlights emergent topics and new research findings that could shape the field of future IHRM research. Theoretical discussion of the variables and processes that affect IHRM policies and practices is provided by renowned contributors with widely differing academic backgrounds, paradigmatic orientations, and theoretical and methodological approaches.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 25: International Human Resource Management and Social Network/Social Capital Theory

Mark L. Lengnick-Hall and Cynthia A. Lengnick-Hall


Mark L. Lengnick-Hall and Cynthia A. Lengnick-Hall Work gets done through relationships embedded in larger networks. The intricate network of relationships both within and outside an organization forms the circulation system that carries information and ideas to those who need it, when they need it (Lengnick-Hall & Lengnick-Hall, 2002). Connections among people both within and across organizations have received increasing attention in the recent past thanks to some groundbreaking research in sociology and management (for example, Burt, 1992; Coleman, 1988; Granovetter, 1974; Krackhardt 1990). As Brass (1995) noted, a social capital/social network perspective is not offered as a substitute or competing view to the traditional HR focus on individual attributes. Rather combining this perspective with the traditional one may broaden our understanding of the complexities of behaviour in organizations and offer new avenues for research in IHRM. The purpose of this chapter is to guide IHRM scholars interested in incorporating social network/social capital theory in their future research. We begin by defining key concepts. Next, we describe the relationship between social capital and competitive advantage in international firms. Finally, we propose an agenda for IHRM research focused on the role of IHRM in using social capital and social networks to achieve strategic capabilities in multinational corporations. Figure 25.1 illustrates the essential relationships. Relationships: the foundation for social capital A relationship represents a lasting association between two or more individuals, groups or organizations (Lengnick-Hall & Lengnick-Hall, 2003). Relationships have four distinctive characteristics. One, they occur over time and are built...

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.

Further information

or login to access all content.