Number of pages: 224
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
BBB Library: Operations Management
Social capital consists of the stock of active connections among people: the trust, mutual understanding, and shared values and behaviors that bind the members of human networks and communities and make cooperative action possible. It makes an organization, or any cooperative group, more than a collection of individuals’ intent on achieving their own private purposes. The book discusses trust, networks, and communities, social space and time, and communication, and the kinds of benefits organizations can derive from these elements and supports.
“It seems obvious: We should praise people who contribute to the organization. We should involve employees in decisions to increase their stake in the business. Management 101? Maybe. But this and other basic people skills are all too often ignored in many companies. The cost: Valuable knowledge is being locked away, say the authors of In Good Company. They argue that companies should be making big investments in social capital.”— Harvard Business School Working Knowledge
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Social capital consists of the stock of active connections among people: the trust, mutual understanding, and shared values and behaviors that bind the members of human networks and communities and make cooperative action possible.
Social capital makes an organization, or any cooperative group, more than a collection of individuals intent on achieving their own private purposes,
Social capital bridges the space between people. Its characteristic elements and indicators include high levels of trust, robust personal networks and vibrant communities, shared under-standings, and a sense of equitable participation in a joint enterprise—all things that draw individuals together into a group.
Merely having shared values and a shared worldview guarantees nothing about a group's quality, rationality, or usefulness.
Leaders set the tone of an organization; they more than anyone else establish and maintain its values and norms through their own actions.
Promotions to leadership positions act as firmwide signals; the fact that employee A won out over employee B shows people what values, approaches, and ways of working management looks for.
When promoted individuals have demonstrated their untrustworthiness, everyone absorbs a noxious lesson: crime does pay, or nice guys finish last.
Knowing who people are and what they are doing builds social connections and trust, just as secrecy tends to create suspicion. Openness and trust are tightly coupled.
The glue that holds networks and communities together includes several ingredients. Shared interests and shared tasks are among them. Trust is the key ingredient.
Space and time for people to gather and make connections with one another are the seedbed and sunlight of social capital. By providing them, leaders can foster conditions that help social capital thrive.
Shared interests and tasks can help develop trust, but when trust is lacking or has been betrayed, no amount of enthusiasm for a subject or advantage in joint work can hold these collective entities together.