Measurement of Social Capital

The meausrement of social capital is a hot topic, with many scholars suggesting that it cannot be accurately measured and others proposing new and novel methods for measurement. What most authors agree on is that social capital must be measured in context and that it is very difficult, or impossible, to create a universal measure.

Social capital measurement

Attempts to measure social capital are flawed by problems with separating form, source and consequences – a common problem with the conceptualisation of social capital. Unfortunately, few researchers understand this complexity and readily confuse the three, resulting in measurement indices that don’t rigorously reflect the state of social capital in the study context. Social capital …

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social capital measurement

Can social capital be measured? Is any measurement valid?

Social capital can be measured in a specific context where interdependencies are given due credit and attention, but I think there is a strong case to suggest it cannot be measured in a general sense. There are no robust, widely applicable and consistent ways to measure social capital that allow for comparison between different contexts. …

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Does social capital measurement magnify existing problems?

Measuring social capital in organisations may be like holding up a magnifying glass on existing problems – it’ll reinforce whatever it sees. The most important elements of organisational social capital are often not in the forefront of our minds. We’re generally not fully aware of the organisational culture: the norms, values, attitudes and beliefs, and …

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What does it mean to measure social capital?

To measure social capital means to attempt to quantify the stock of social capital in a given context. Unfortunately, there is considerable debate and controversy over the possibility, desirability, and practicability of measuring social capital. The measurement of social capital is closely linked to its definition and conceptualisation – both of which are contested in …

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Social capital measurement problems

For more than 10 years I have been following the literature on social capital measurement, and hoping that someone will publish a thorough synthesis and analysis of measurement techniques to produce at least a good guide to its measurement in different contexts. I suspect this is a (near) impossible task given the commonly discussed problems …

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The International Social Capital Association is an international non-profit member-based association devoted to advancing the research on and the application of the social capital concept for the benefit of all.

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