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Journal Article

Social Capital Management in Iranian Knowledge‑Based Organizations  pp204-210

Khodayar Abili

© Sep 2011 Volume 9 Issue 3, ECIC 2011, Editor: Geoff Turner and Clemente Minonne, pp181 - 295

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The importance of social capital and its effective management approach in organizations, particularly knowledge‑based organizations, for assuring their ongoing and sustainable development and competitive advantage has been a matter of serious discussion in recent years. Considering the ongoing expansion and growth of knowledge‑based organizations in Iran and the role and importance of their social capital in further development of Iranian society, an effective system of management of their social capital is a matter of concern of their top managers. Therefore, a blend (quantitative and qualitative) multiple case study was conducted with a selected number of knowledge‑based organizations with different sizes to assess their existing social capital, to identify factors which might have positive or negative impacts on the promotion of their social capital and to propose an effective approach for its management. To conduct the study, a purposive sample of fifteen large organizations and sixteen SMEs was selected. To collect the data, a stratified random sample of 528 knowledge workers (336 from large and 192 from MEs) and their HRM managers were given a 24‑item questionnaire which was designed based on three dimensions (structural, relational and cognitive) of Organizational Social Capital Model used by Nahapiet and Ghoshal in their study. This was followed by semi‑structured interviews with a selected number of research participants for completion and further clarification of collected data. Findings indicated that the selected knowledge‑based organizations are not benefiting from a desirable social capital. It is even worse in large organizations. Therefore, some measures need to be taken to improve the situation. Based on the findings of this study, suggestions were provided for the promotion of their social capitals and their more effective management


Keywords: social capital, organizational social capital, knowledge-based organizations, SMEs, structural capital, relational capital, cognitive capital


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