How Social Capital facilitates Innovation

The literature supports the importance of social capital for the development of innovation capabilities but pays little attention to how this process takes place. Further, most research assumes a homogeneous level of social capital inside an organization and concentrates mainly on the structural dimension, understating the relational and cognitive dimensions. To address these gaps, this article explores how the three dimensions of social capital influence the multiple types of innovation capabilities. We use a qualitative methodology within a single-case study to answer the research questions. Our findings expose the mediating role of innovation enables — a set of general capabilities that contribute in turn to favor innovation. We illustrate the nature of social capital heterogeneity and multidimensionality and we discuss its relevance for the development of different types of innovation, namely product, process, marketing, strategic and behavioral innovation.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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