Handbook of Social Capital and Regional Development
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Handbook of Social Capital and Regional Development

Edited by Hans Westlund and Johan P. Larsson

The role of social capital in regional development is a multifaceted topic which is studied all over the world using various methods and across numerous disciplines. It has long been evident that social capital is important for regional development, however, it is less clear how this works in practice. Do all types of social capital have the same effects and are different kinds of regions impacted in the same way? This book is the first to offer an overview of this rapidly expanding field of research and to thoroughly analyse the complex issue of social capital and regional development.
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Chapter 19: Researchers’ role in regional development: collaboration and social capital in Swedish higher education institutions

Maria Ljunggren


Little is known about the relation between HEIs’ internal social capital and external social capital building. Instead research has mostly focused on external social capital building. This is often done with a focus on researchers’ collaboration with the surrounding environment. In Sweden university colleges have a tradition of collaboration with the regional environment. In university colleges researchers generally accept a central steering that emphasizes collaboration. This differs from the studied HEIs situated in the city capital. In such HEIs it could be a challenge to centrally encourage collaboration. One explanation for this difference is the relation between HEIs’ internal and external social capital. This suggests that building of external social capital within HEIs is not related to the nature of the internal social capital.

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