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).
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.