The antecedent and consequence of two forms of social capital
Social capital is defined as the sum of potential and actual resources inherent to and derived from the structure of a firm’s relationships (e.g., Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). As the subject of scholarly inquiry for years, social capital remains one of the most widely studied topics across various social science disciplinaries, including strategic management, with a wide range of implications for the founding, survival, growth, and success of firms. Within this stream of literature, a multiform view of social capital is an important yet less explored topic. In particular, the idea that social capital has multiple forms has been inherently theorized in the concept of social capital since its introduction to management scholars. Of further relevance is that distinctive forms of social capital may possess different growth trajectories over time and differentially affect performance. Although strategic management scholars have begun to examine the implications of firm-level networks and social capital, yet it has yielded mixed and confusing results so far. This is in part because most studies fail to consider that distinctive forms of social capital differ in terms of their growth trajectories and performance consequences; rather, social capital is typically regarded as one single concept by assuming that its distinctive forms hold little salience. Clearly, the ultimate impacts of social capital depend on a combination of the individual effects of distinctive forms of social capital on organizational outcomes. As a result, our knowledge of social capital remains incomplete and potentially flawed without an appreciation of a multiform view of social capital. Aiming to address the gaps in the social capital and strategic management literatures, I intend to examine the antecedents and consequences of distinctive forms of social capital. In particular, the study first examines the varying effects of founding team on the growth trajectories of distinctive forms of social capital—in my case, within-community and between-community social capital over time—and then, investigates how an environmental jolt (EJ), such as 2008 economic crisis, interrupted the divergent development patterns of distinctive forms of social capital. More specifically, I propose that while homogeneous founding leadership team enhances the relationship between time and between-community social capital, it weakens the relationship between within-community social capital and time. Moreover, an EJ will weaken the relationship between time and between-community social capital but enhance the relationship between within-community social capital and time. Next, the study examines the performance implications of within-community and between-community social capital. In particular, I argue that within-community social capital produces a positive performance implication, whereas between-community social capital negatively affects performance. The ultimate impact of social capital on performance depends on a combination of the effects of both forms of social capital on performance. Accordingly, I incorporate the factors which are instrumental to the evolution of distinctive forms of social capital and seek to reveal divergent performance implications of these forms of social capital. Such an amalgamated approach enhances the utility and scope of firm-level social capital studies, while affording a richer and more meaningful advance on the knowledge of social capital in general.