Social capital dimensions, innovation, and technology in Europe: a case-studies meta-synthesis

Leandro Rodrigo Canto Bonfim, Andréa Paula Segatto, Adriana Roseli Wünsch Takahashi


This article aims to improve the understanding on how structural, relational, and cognitive dimensions of social capital influence innovation outcomes on interorganizational and intraorganizational networks. A meta-synthesis research design with eight selected qualitative case studies located in a European context were conducted. The patterns of causal relationships among the variables presented in the case studies were identified. The antecedents of social capital dimensions, the influence of the dimensions on reducing barrier or impediments for innovation and on the enhancement of enablers or facilitators of innovation outcomes, and the direct effects of social capital dimensions on innovation compose the resulting framework. Furthermore, differences between the influence of social capital dimensions on innovation and technology in interorganizational and intraorganizational setting in European companies were found. The meta-synthesis this research relies on another researcher’s insights and interpretation of data, being susceptible to their bias. Adopting qualitative case studies insights for getting to an analytical generalization reduces the deepness, richness, and contextual dependence of original authors’ findings.

The findings could help organizations developing optimal conditions for the improvement of the likelihood of gathering innovation and technology and development outcomes from both interorganizational and intraorganizational networks.

This article contributes for both innovation and technology development and social capital literature by proposing an integrated framework comprised of social capital antecedents and the role of social dimensions on reducing barriers or impediments, enhancing enablers or facilitators, and affecting innovation outcomes directly.


Social capital dimensions; Social embeddedness; innovation; Technology; Meta-synthesis; Qualitative case-studies

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