Entrepreneurial versus Cooperative Social Capital: the impact on operational performance

Aisling Bonner, George Onofrei, Paul Humphreys, Michael Margey, Trevor Cadden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


Research has extensively focused on how firms can become more competitive, by discovering new knowledge domains while exploiting current ones. Prior research has shown the positive impact of social capital on performance, however, there have been no empirical studies that distinguished between the architectures of social capital and how they impact the operational performance dimensions. Building upon the knowledge-based theory, we propose a model to examine the effects of the two architectures of social capital (entrepreneurial and cooperative) on individual dimensions of operational performance (quality, delivery, flexibility and cost). The hypotheses are tested using structural equation modelling and data collected from 182 companies in Ireland. The results show that the cooperative social capital archetype supports the operational performance dimensions, while the entrepreneurial social capital archetype only impacts the cost dimension. The findings extend the current understanding about the complex relationships among the architectures of social capital and provide guidance for managers on how to leverage their investments in social capital to enhance specific operational performance dimensions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3854-3865
Number of pages12
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Issue number8
Early online date8 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 23 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 ERP Environment and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • cooperative social capital
  • empirical research
  • entrepreneurial social capital
  • knowledge-based view
  • operational performance


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