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IC51002A Perspectives On Capital: Financial, Physical, Human And Social System

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  • Course Code: IC51002A
  • University: Victoria University
  • Country: Australia


Choose a scholar whose theories we have explored in the course readings, and examine in detail their understanding of a type of capital they prioritise.
N.B. Capital types are interrelated, and theorists rarely deal with a single type in isolation, but begin by choosing a key type from a scholarly work and use it as a focus to lead your discussion of a capital’s characteristics and import.
For example:
Bourdieu on Social, Cultural Capital
Coleman on Social, Human Capital
Marx on Human Capital
Muniesa et al. on Capitalization
Putnam on Social Capital
Searle & Brassell on Economic / Intellectual Capital
Swedberg on Economic Capitalism
Throsby on Human Capital (via Social)
Townley on Cultural, Intellectual Capital
Uzzi on Financial Capital
You may want to consider: the scholar’s view of how different capital types engage with one another; the component elements of capital types; the ideas and materials by which types of capital are defined and recognised; the social and economic importance of the capital.
In some cases the key concentration of the scholar will be a dynamic one e.g. a process such as capitalisation, or the impact of a set of capital relations e.g. capitalism.
The aim of the task is for you to engage deeply with the capital concept chosen, and demonstrate your understanding through clear analysis of the topic.



Social Capital is easily understandable as the web of the social relations which are distinguished by the norms of trust and the reciprocity. The basic core of the social capital is only the relations that humans maintain with people. The quality of the relations is understood with the help of social capital when people come together to resolve the issues they face commonly and in the end they gain mutual benefit from this (Franklin, 2007). Hence, it can be perceived as the resource to mutual action which leads to the wide range of the results varying on social plate. It definitely adds something in the theory for everyone.

Varieties of Social capital

There are several forms which Social Capital takes but the straightforward approach divides it into the categories of Bonds, Bridges and Linkages. Bonds link people on the base of common identity. These people will be family, friends or the people of the same culture or community. Bridges link people by going beyond the common identity. These people can be distant friends or associates. Linkages are the farthest form of the above two. These link people when the distance is much further up or down in terms of social ladder (Maurer, 2010).  

Social Capital by Putnam

Robert Putnam worked on the theory of social capital and made “Bowling Alone: America’s declining social capital” in which he did the deep research about social capital. He basically took over with the Coleman’s approach in the theoretical way as well as the methods of gaining huge material from the areas in the U.S (Sander & Putnam, 2010).

By social capital he meant social life such as norms, trust and networks which enables the participants to act mutually and in a more effective manner for sharing common objectives. He gathered deep knowledge and material on the political and civil participation and signs of the social connections, sense of reciprocity and the trust and voluntarily engagement. When Coleman focused on the social ties within the families and the communities which were based on the same norms and beliefs, Putnam adopted a very different view on this concept. According to Mark Granovetter’s study, the distant ties are mostly useful for finding jobs.

Although, Bowling Alone failed to give a proper distinction between the above mentioned three types of social capitals, Putnam later started focusing on the need of the general trust in between the communities. He later favored them too.  He pointed out that the trust can be taken as passive and active actions are stressed by reciprocity. For Putnam, reciprocity was not bilateral (Gudmundsson & Mikiewicz, 2012).The approach defined by Putnam about Social Capital does not holds to be true when evaluated alongside the examples of the states where it existed and growth of the democracy was not leaded by it (Shindler, 2014).

Theories of Social Capital

Weak Relation theory: The very first theory of social capital is the weak relations. This theory suggests that the intensity of the relations is higher within members of network and the value of social capital is low if the intensity is low. This is the sign of social capital.

Structural Fraction theory: This theory states that people those who do not have any network or even a slight relation with others has more interest.  

Social Resources theory: This theory shows that without resources being available in the market, the networks that are available are not useful. The main thing is the resources if network should continue to exist (Iravani, 2010).

Factors of Social Capital

Institutional Factors: An institution means custom, habit and rules which are effective for the political and the social lives of people and a place which makes useful systems for solving needs of society.

Automatic factors: Automatic factors like norms are automatically created by the members in the society.   They are not intentional chooses of any one person.

External Factors: These factors include the norms which are created at the same place instead of the same society. These are used like religion, culture, faith and belief and ideology. Natural factors are also to be considered in the external factors (Megyesi et al., 2010).

Management of Social Capital and its Role

The problem that social capital faces is to separate employees and organization from the managers. They use different ways to develop social capital in the organization where some relates to the society and the other relate to the intra organization. There are few problems of social capital:

Morality Commitment: The manager who uses morals for performances and decision which are to be taken in the organization is not accepted by the public.

Management of Social Capital through different concepts:   There are three groups of moral criteria: responsibility against government, benevolence, responsibility of an individual and foresight. Having these factors definitely provides more morality. For codifying these four resources there are geographical, individual interest, administrative and public features. With the help of these, one can modify the principles of morality (Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998). Sense of responsibility means organization and the society should have interactions and they should not tend to have benefits of the organization.

Society and Unification: The problem which destroys social capital is the managers separating from the society. This is the situation in which the managers see themselves differently and kind of divorce themselves from the clients and society. They just do not have the sense of unity with the citizens and neighbors. If the managers feel damaged, the social capital of the organization also damages. 


Empirical works and Social Capital Limitations

Working on empirical papers has been attempted for testing the role of social capital related to the outcomes of socio economy. General practice is dominating the empirical works. Reasons as to why this is happening are:

Firstly, survey questionnaires help the social scientists to capture the aspects of life and daily lifestyle of the individuals which might affect their health. This data does not remain the same for the large period of the years and also not repeated.  

Secondly, Perceptions about the attitudes, values and trust, code of conducts will most likely not change hugely on the yearly basis. Contrary to this, economic variables which are popular such as investment, unemployment and consumption, these might require a decent amount of time for change. Hence, two to three years might be taken easily for an opinion about trusting people in general and once made, it will remain the same for at least one or two years.

Thirdly, some empirical papers may suffer from the model of uncertainty and most precisely from the parameters of heterogeneity. The indication is towards the models which are fragile. If social variables are concerned in terms of the empirical research, it affects the growth of the economy.

Fourthly, these empirical papers try to explain the impacts of the social capital on economic results suffer from the casualty issues. Direction of the casualty is not always same. This problem is very common. Social capital judgments might also seize some elements which are not taken in story of research but might be critical for the interpretations of the outcomes (Andriani, 2013).

Discussion on the arguments

Relation between social capital and innovation is long and the interpretation will always need broad discussion. There is always an element of threat which is tangled in these innovation tasks which depicts in totally different ways. Investors might be reluctant to risk but the capital implications are huge in this market that is competitive. The cost of monitoring might be more and the hazard problems might hamper the finance (Allameh et al., 2013). The barriers can come from anywhere but they would not matter as long as Social capital can make them less. It is only possible in three ways.

First, the social capital must prevent the egoistic behavior because of the norms.

Second, the investors might finance the goal by keeping in mind the image of the firm. If the honest character is displayed by good quality of the aim, the trust automatically goes up in the minds of the investors. As a result, investors might be positive towards changing the expectations for the researcher. This would increase the expectation of ideas of financing in that particular region. Building the trust will reduce the monitoring costs and make the new innovation  investment efficient (Kay, 2005).

 The course of the social capital disturbs terrain of academic disciplines and this is the reason perhaps why it is celebrated so much.  This essay focuses on the Social capital’s definition and its importance in the social and economic terms. Social capital has three important elements: binding, bridging and linkages. These elements have huge significance in social capital networks. Also the theories associated with social capital are discussed. Putnam worked on the concept of social capital from where Coleman left it. Yet, it faces some limitations. These limitations are also discussed. Developing a research for the structured approaches of social capital may provide a new perspective (Chuluunbaatar et al., 2014). Social capital this way may prove to be more enlightening force which is able to introduce considerations to explanations which are still driven by economic discourse.



Allameh, S.M., harooni, A., Bagheri, A. & Ahmadi, E., 2013. A Study on the Effect of Social Capital on Intellectual Capital. International Journal of Management Academy, 1(1), pp.67-77.

Andriani, L., 2013. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 16 February 2018].

Chuluunbaatar, E., Ottavia, Bang Luh, D. & Far Kung, S., 2014. The Role of Cluster and Social Capital in Cultural and Creative. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 109, pp.552-57.

Franklin, J., 2007. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 16 February 2018].

Gudmundsson, G. & Mikiewicz, P., 2012. repozytorium.amu. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 16 February 2018].

Iravani, M.R., 2010. Role of Social Capital on Development. Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences, 2(2), pp.966-78.

Kay, A., 2005. Social capital, the social. Oxford University Press and Community Development Journal, 41(2), pp.160-73.

Maurer, R.L.H.a.K., 2010. Bonding, Bridging and Linking: How. British Journal of Social Work, 40, pp.1777-93.

Megyesi, B., Kelemen, E. & SCHERMER, M., 2010. Social Capital as a Success Factor for Collective Farmers. Int. Jrnl. of Soc. of Agr. & Food, 18(1), pp.89-103.

Nahapiet, J. & Ghoshal, S., 1998. Social Capital, Intellectual Capital, and the Organizational Advantage. The Academy of Management Review, 23(2), pp.242-66.

Sander, T.H. & Putnam, R.D., 2010. Still Bowling Alone? Journal of Democracy, 21(1), pp.9-16.

Shindler, M., 2014. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 16 February 2018].

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