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The articulation of social capital in entrepreneurial networks: a glue or a lubricant?

Alistair Anderson and Sarah L. Jack

Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 2002, vol. 14, issue 3, 193-210

Abstract: While social capital has been applied in a variety of contexts, the nature, role and application of social capital in an entrepreneurial context have not been extensively explored. The nature of social capital presents a conceptual puzzle in that it is said to be both glue, which forms the structure of networks, and at the same time a lubricant that facilitates the operation of networks. Using techniques of participant observation and interviews, this paper attempts to resolve this enigma. It finds that social capital is not a thing, but a process that creates a condition of social capital. The structural and relational aspects are found to be dimensions of this process. Interestingly, the data also demonstrates that there are successful etiquettes of social capital formation. These etiquettes provide the rules and framework for the interactions.

Date: 2002
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DOI: 10.1080/08985620110112079

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