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Title: Corporate social capital creation and transfer among small to medium sized enterprise (SME) owner-managers in two recreational settings
Author: Steele, Laura
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2013
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Corporate Social Capital theory has been used as a prism through which diverse economic issues have been explored (Leenders and Gabbay 1999). This thesis draws upon it once again, to provide a framework for understanding the attitudes to business networking held by the owner-managers of Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Northern Ireland. Using a multiple case study approach as outlined by Yin (2009), the research was conducted in Rotary clubs and golf clubs, which have traditionally fostered such exchanges but in secondary function to wider social welfare or sporting aims. Through the use of in-depth interviews the individual's opportunities to engage with others, motivation for doing so and ability to produce value from the interactions were explored (Adler and Kwon 2002). Respondents provided clear examples of when their business had benefited (or indeed suffered) as the result of their social network. The overarching themes emerging from the data are increased access to information that could be converted into competitive advantage and the accelerated development of trust among network members. This, however, was tempered by frequent mention of the ‘dark side' (Gargiulo and Benassi 1999) where an unpropitious reputation is easy to form but difficult to shed and the very idea of overt networking is still considered by some to be uncouth. The research identified five factors that impacted on an individual SME owner-managers ability to generate social capital, specifically: the location and age profile of the club and the gender/ occupation and personality of the SME owner-manager. This thesis provides a new perspective on the experiences of the SME owner-manager in a time of continued economic uncertainty.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available