A Study on Social Capital Concept, Development and Importance



International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration
Volume 4, Issue 1, November 2017, Pages 52-56

A Study on Social Capital Concept, Development and Importance

DOI: 10.18775/ijmsba.1849-5664-5419.2014.41.1007
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.18775/ijmsba.1849-5664-5419.2014.41.1007

1Derya Çevik Taşdemir, 2Ayşe Düriye Bahar, 3Dr. Filiz Çayırağası

1 2 3Oğuzeli Vocational High School, University of Gaziantep, Turkey

Abstract: The concept of social capital, which has risen since the 1990s, has an important place both in the sociological framework and in the sustainable economic frame. In this context, the concept of social capital, which is so wide, examines the concept of social capital at different times, different people, different areas of life, school education, operational efficiency, social environment, political environment. In this study, the concept of social capital and the development of the concept of social capital will be discussed. The opinions of Bourdieu, Coleman and Putnam, which are the three big names in this area, are included in the concept of social capital concept, and it is envisaged to keep the future bright.

Keywords: Social capital, Human capital, The development of social capital, Level of development, Social development.

A Study on Social Capital Concept, Development and Importance

1. Introduction

When we examine the concept of social capital, which we have often encountered in the literature for the last 30 years, we can see that the foundations of the concept are based on much more than they are. There are many studies in the literature about the economic development of social capital and the solution of social problems by theoreticians such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Durkheim, Max Weber, who have actively risen in the 1990s.

Ever since the historical processes of mankind, there are important social elements on the grounds of events that can be further increased in every field, such as financial crises, poverty, civil wars (Şavkar, 2011). When searching for solutions to these events, it is essential for the solution to keep the social concepts in the foreground instead of in the background. In the study, the concept of social capital is of great importance for businesses, country economies, and social relations. Therefore, this study will focus on the concept of social capital and the importance of the concept of social capital.

When we examine the structural characteristics of social capital, we can see that it contains many different concepts in its content (Mainwaring, 2013). These concepts are given in Fig.1. In order to see the bigger picture and to make a difference in the world, the concept of social capital emerges as much more meaning than any concept as a concept in which the mentioned concepts are melted in a single pot.

Figure 1: Structural Characteristics Of Social Capital

Structural, relational and scientific social capital dimensions provide a strong basis for basic knowledge creation activities such as information access, information sharing and composition of existing information and information generation due to their structural characteristics (Özdemir, 2008). Social capital; if it is thought to be with people as a whole, networks, trusts and norms, Social capital is indigenous to life. Indirectly spread to all areas of life. As a result, we can see that social capital covers a considerable area when we look at research areas.

When we look at the social capital at the point of economic and social development, when we look at societies that use it effectively, it is more developed at the economic and social level compared to the societies that do not use it effectively.

• Social values such as community values, working life and organization, neighbourly relations, democracy and governance, collective actions; it is seen as such relationships that are healthier in regions with high social capital if they are thought to be based on mutual trust, social networks, reciprocity and participation.
• The level of effectiveness of education and training is high in societies with high social capital.
• Business efficiency. The social capital of the enterprises can be increased in proportion to the facts.
When social capital is used effectively, it has the power to influence the lives of many different populations in a positive way.

2. The Importance of Social Capital Concept

In order for the capital to be regarded as a source, the resource must be used or fluidized in order to generate profits. Thus, capital is expressed as resources that have been treated twice. In the first process, the resources are produced or changed as an investment, while in the second process, the produced or changed resources are presented to the market for income (Lin, 2001: 2). Therefore capital can be regarded as a process. When assessed in this context, we can see that the social dimension has been loaded on the capital and used as an important concept (Kapu, 2008). Social capital empowers collective activities, gives them the desire to work together and be a volunteer. Thus, individuals and institutions can operate in a multi-faceted manner.

When societies are examined in a sociological sense, we can see that the level of social capital of societies is positively and significantly related to the level of development of societies. Social capital is seen as a society in which higher societies are safer, cleaner, healthier, and cultured, whereas societies with lower social capital levels have inverse characteristics. We can see that societies with low social capital have constant political, ethnic, religious and sectarian conflicts and that these scarce resources are wasted (Şavkar, 2011).

The per capita income levels of countries with high confidence levels are also directly proportional (Öksüzler, 2006). Table 1 gives confidence in unions and gross national income data for 1999-2000 and 2008-2009. When the data are analyzed, it can be said that the gross national income of the countries is increased with the general increase in the level of confidence in the countries. But this is not always true. As you can see in Table 1, contrary to what you might think; In Austria, Finland, Germany and Sweden, gross national income has also increased while confidence has declined.

Table 1: Confidence in Unions Per Country and Wave (Frangi, Koos and Hadziabalic, 2017) vs. Gross National Income (Confidence in Unions Data is from the OECD.)

Confidence in UnionsGross National Income
United Kingdom25.930.62508535376

Social capital also plays a role in the diffusion of human and intellectual capital. For the accumulation of the human capital to be implemented effectively and successfully, the existence of networks with strong interaction and healthy communication skills is essential. It is essential to exchange information in an academic environment or an industrial environment or a political environment. The main purpose of this approach is; to determine the structure and dimension of social relations, social institutions and the mutual interaction between them, to develop institutional strategies based on social relations (Çetin, 2006).

3. Concept of Social Capital to Public Today

Social capital, which has been among the working headlines of recent years more and more every day, has been the subject of many types of research. The conceptual work for the notion of social capital, which has been found in many different areas since the past, is based on a course that initially seems to be scattered and competing (eg Coleman, Burt, Putnam etc.) towards a single theory of social capital (eg, Lin), which has a purpose, a restoration effort has emerged in the field. This theoreticalization effort has been increasingly supporting methods and empirical types of research (Başak – Öztaş, 2010).

The concept of capital has changed over the years. In the concept of traditional economic capital, the concept of human capital emerged when the answer to the question “What do you have?” and material values came to mind, later the material values were not enough alone, and the human resource to use and enlarge it was not possessed. “What do you know?” The answer started to be sought, the experience, training, talent and knowledge sought here. In the concept of social capital, questions are asked about relations, connections, friendships and family ties while looking for answers “who do you know?” (Luthans, 2004).

The concept of social capital is defined by many scientists in different ways and objectives. Tocqueville explains the social capital that Americans can easily come together for civil and political purposes. LJ Hanifan (1916) deals with and explains the local school contribution. John Seeley and others have considered lower-class people as an attempt to rise to higher economic classes (clubs, associations, etc.). Jacobs explains with neighbourhood relations. Max Weber explains in the emphasis on the common “way of life”, which is seen as an indispensable element of status groups, in the spiritual motivation conception of charisma and authority and as an important element in economic and social development in Protestant moralism. According to Whiteley, the concept of social capital is defined by the willingness of people to trust their family members, their citizens, and in general others (Yavuz, 2012). While KOSGEB defines social capital as social norms, rules, networks, communication and mutual trust affecting economic development, an economic concept is the basis of a new approach (KOSGEB, 2005).

4. Investigations on the Concept of Social Capital and Three Great Names and Social Capital

As mentioned above, social capital is defined by different names in different ways. However, when the development of the concept of social capital is examined day by day, three names give the real meaning to the concept of social capital. These names are Bourdieu, Coleman and Putnam, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Opinions of Bourdieu, Coleman and Putnam on Social Capital Concept

4.1 Opinions Regarding of Bourdieu’s Social Capital

Opinions regarding of Bourdieu’s social capital, people are constantly in competition with other individuals to maintain their position within the hierarchical social structure.

They define capital in three dimensions;
• Cultural capital,
• Economic capital,
• Social capital.

Obligations and networks, a component of social capital, are strong and continuous elements in mutual relations (Cetin, 2006). In this framework, social capital can be seen as a fundamental factor that enables individuals to mobilize economic and cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1986). The study of the educational performance of children from different social classes, defining social capital as useful support when necessary, suggests that social and cultural capital lies by imbalances. It defines social capital as the purpose of obtaining economic capital, while at the same time it defines social capital as resources that provide access to group goods.

4.2 Opinions Regarding of Coleman’s Social Capital

Coleman (1988) states that, unlike physical capital and human capital, social capital includes the system of relations between actors, revealing the differences between physical capital, social capital and human capital. (Coleman, 1988). While aiming to achieve human capital, social capital is defined as the planes of social work that the individual uses to realize his or her interests. Opinion to Banger (2011) and Coleman’s concept of social capital; obligations, anticipations, and even in structures, information channels flowing through the social structure, decreasing ambiguities, norms and effective sanctions.

4.3 Opinions Regarding of Putnam’s Social Capital

Putnam, expanding the concept of social capital by being influenced by Coleman, defines social capital as “the characteristics of social organization such as trust, social norms and networks that enable actors to act jointly and actively in order to provide common goals” (Putnam, 1993). He argues that social capital is particularly important in collective actions. It refers to the concept of social capital as effective democracy and the goal of the economy while it defines the concept of social capital as trust, networks and norms that facilitate mutually beneficial cooperation.

5. Conclusion and Discussion

In today’s world where production is increasing, and the world is becoming more and more global, it is possible for enterprises to gain superiority to competing businesses, to use technology effectively, to catch up with the sun, to produce innovative goods and services. The production of innovative goods and services, the effective use of resources, and the ability to adapt to the times are possible not only with physical resources but also with healthy and effective human relationships, effective trust, networks and norms. These concepts reveal the social capital of enterprises.

The concept of social capital is of great importance for countries other than businesses. Although the economic, political and social dimension of development is handled separately, the fact that it is treated as a whole is very important in terms of the sustainability of development. The planning of development without adding a human, human relations, networks and norms to the account, is no different from planning to eat without material.

It is possible for researchers, administrators, politicians, teachers, academics and professionals from various professions to benefit from the concept of social capital, from the reasons mentioned above, to work on the future of the concept of social capital and to increase the quality of education.


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