Edited by Ritch L. Sorenson
Chapter 2: The central role of trust in family firm social capital
The concept of social capital originally emerged from work in community studies where city neighborhoods with strong personal relationships that developed over time provided the foundations for strong, trusting, cooperative relationships and collective action that helped sustain the neighborhood. The basic assumption of social capital theory is that when a strong set of relationships exists in a group, these relationships form feelings of gratitude, friendship, and respect, and create a sense of long- lasting obligation to the group. These bonds and ties lead to greater access to information and opportunities than those given to outsiders. Researchers have since expanded the notion that social capital can enhance the successful functioning of a variety of groups, including not only communities, but families and business organizations as well.
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