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Social cooperatives, social welfare associations and social networks

Giacomo Degli Antoni and Fabio Sabatini ()

Review of Social Economy, 2017, vol. 75, issue 2, 212-230

Abstract: We use an original data-set to study how participation in two types of non-profit organizations – i.e. social welfare associations and social cooperatives – affects individual social capital, understood as a network of cooperative relationships. Participation in both the types of organization allows members to start new social relations. However, social welfare associations seem to play a significantly greater role in the development of volunteers’ social capital, favouring the creation of weak ties that are used to exchange information and advice, and offering the opportunity to establish stronger ties entailing concrete mutual support. Within social cooperatives, workers appear to develop their individual social capital to a greater extent than volunteers. Our results suggest that the composition of the workforce, the depth of members’ involvement in the organization’s activities and the human resources strategies adopted by the management influence the creation of cooperative relations through on-the-job interactions.

Date: 2017
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Working Paper: Social cooperatives, social welfare associations and social networks (2015) Downloads
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