measurement

Social capital in economics

For economists, the term ‘social capital’ allows for the consideration of social factors that are normally beyond the purview of economic analysis. Despite their intangible nature, economists since at least David Hume and Adam Smith have been interested in the role of social factors such as trust, reputation, norms and belonging in economic outcomes. These …

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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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How to measure social capital

A guide for the measurement of social capital at any level in any context. There is almost universal agreement that social capital is difficult to measure with a high degree of validity. Demand for relevant empirical measures has continued to outstrip supply. You have likely found this article because you are looking for (and not …

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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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Grabbing at the wind: the power forces of social capital

Is attempting to capitalise on social capital just like grabbing at the wind? It’s not particularly tangible and a powerful force that doesn’t always blow the way you want. I have no doubt that social capital is missing from most corporate balance sheets and is certainly a factor that all organisations should take seriously due …

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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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What is the value of social capital?

Social capital is social relations that have productive benefits. The best way to understand social capital is through the old adage, “it’s not what you know, but who you know”. We intuitively understand that we can derive benefits from our relationships with others, whether it be as simple as finding a reliable mechanic (which can …

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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 indicies that don’t rigorously reflect the state of social capital in the study context. Social capital …

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