Why is social capital so important?

Social capital has been described as a lubricant that facilitates getting things done. It allows people to work together and to access benefits from social relationships. Social capital allows modern economies to function efficiently. Our society, economy, institutions, and political system could not exist without social capital. Social capital refers to the internal social and cultural coherence of society. As such social capital has been described as a glue.

For individuals, social capital is important because it is an important source of power and influence that helps people to ‘get by’ and ‘get ahead’. The adage: “it’s not just what you know, but who you know” relates to the powerful effects and importance of social capital.

For groups and organisations social capital is vital to their efficiency and even existence. Social capital enables people to work together and facilitates cooperation and innovation. Any organisation that doesn’t consider the importance of social capital is missing an opportunity for improvement, and risking inefficiencies and peril.

For society, social capital is also important as it allows societal institutions to exist and maintains the coherence of society.

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