Social Capital for Greater Value

Chapter Three Video: Social Capital

Social capital represents the potential and actual resources that can be accessed, used, and combined through our relationships in various social networks – individually and collectively

(Bowey & Easton, 2007; Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998).

Why Social Capital Awareness is Important to Innovation

By creating safety, through trust and stability of relationships in collaboration activities, social capital reduces costs of working together and promotes risk-taking, especially in fields where single organizations cannot undertake the level of risk required for innovation. 

To the extent that individuals and organizations are able to develop social capital, there will be greater social cohesion and goal alignment; greater sharing of knowledge and resources; and also more ability to create win-win scenarios for collaboration.  These “innovation enablers” get us closer to generating innovative solutions to the problems that we’re tackling in organizations. That’s why it’s important to be aware of social capital.

  • Higher levels of social capital are related to higher levels of collective action; help to counter adverse conditions and asymmetric power relations
  • “Cornerstone for sustainable development policies and nature’s governance”(Auer et al, 2020);
  • Establishment of relationships in social networks that bond and bridge institutions enable innovation in sustainable practices
  • “Networks open up economies of scale to bring greater economic and ecological benefits”; “a necessary resource for shaping individual action to achieve positive biodiversity outcomes” (Pretty & Smith, 2004)
  • People are more likely to sustain stewardship when connected in networks where their knowledge is sought and incorporated in conservation management.a