The Network Approach to Social Capital – The Concept of Ronald S. Burt



In the previous chapter we concluded that it is useful to concentrate on the structural aspect of social capital to derive a general theory about it. In the literature we find such models in Burt and Lin's conceptions. The present chapter deals with the former. To acquaint the reader with Burt's way of thinking, we will introduce the foundations of his concept: the structural theory of action and the general concept of networks. Then we will introduce the concept of structural holes representing social capital. As done in the previous chapters, we will outline the most critical points of the concept and derive a theorem for empirical testing. To ascertain this theorem's validity we will contest its empirical results starting with Burt's own studies and continuing with others at the business as well as the individual level. Finally, we will conclude how Burt's concept contributes to a general theory of social capital.


Social Capital Team Performance Structural Hole Network Position Network Closure 
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© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2011

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