Relational capital and social capital: one or two fields of research?

Kaisa Still, Jukka Huhtamäki, Martha Russell

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

    Abstract

    In this paper, we start from relational capital, which is one of the components of intellectual capital addressing the intangible values of organizations. In popular usage, the concept seems to be closely related to social capital, with similar words (such as relationships and network) explaining it, and with claims that scholars use social capital instead of relational capital despite their differing origins. As we observe these terms to be used interchangeably in business management literature, we will elaborate on the question: should relational capital and social capital be seen as one or two fields of study? We proceed to use bibliographic data from Scopus with the method of social network analysis in finding and comparing the authorities for relational capital and social capital. We define authority with Kleinberg's HITS algorithm, hence linking authority to citations (the number of citations as well as who does the citation), as citations are generally seen to indicate recognition and merit in the world of scientific writing. We then compare the resulting lists of top 20 authorities in the two fields as well as provide insights with network visualizations. Our findings reveal only 4 names on both lists (Hitt, Nahapiet, Ghoshal and Kogut), suggesting that the fields are separate but related, which is made explicit with the network visualizations that show these citation-based linkages between the two fields. The visualized networks suggest further that relational capital literature is using social capital literature in its citations. Overall, these findings reveal the linkages between the concepts of relational capital and social capital in scientific literature as well as provide means for showing the roles of specific actors, in this case certain core authors. Hence, the findings provide a shared understanding for scholars and practitioners interested in these concepts and can provide support for future studies in these areas.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning, ICICKM 2013
    Place of PublicationReading, UK
    Pages420-428
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-909507-79-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    Event10th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning, ICICKM 2013 - Washington, DC, United States
    Duration: 24 Oct 201325 Oct 2013

    Conference

    Conference10th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning, ICICKM 2013
    Abbreviated titleICICKM 2013
    CountryUnited States
    CityWashington, DC
    Period24/10/1325/10/13

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    Keywords

    • relational capital
    • social capital
    • social network analysis
    • bibliographical analysis
    • scientometrics
    • visual analytics

    Cite this

    Still, K., Huhtamäki, J., & Russell, M. (2013). Relational capital and social capital: one or two fields of research? In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning, ICICKM 2013 (pp. 420-428). Reading, UK.