Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Entrepreneurship and mutuality: social capital in processes and practices.

McKeever, Edward; Anderson, Alistair; Jack, Sarah


Edward McKeever

Alistair Anderson

Sarah Jack


Social capital, which offers the broader theoretical construct to which networks and networking relate, is now recognized as an important influence in entrepreneurship. Broadly understood as resources embedded in networks and accessed through social connections, research has mainly focused on measuring structural, relational and cognitive dimensions of the concept. While useful, these measurements tell us little about how social capital, as a relational artefact and connecting mechanism, actually works in practice. As a social phenomenon which exists between individuals and contextualized through social networks and groups, we draw upon established social theory to offer an enhanced practical understanding of social capital - what it does and how it operates. Drawing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Robert Putnam, we contribute to understanding entrepreneurship as a socially situated and influenced practice. From this perspective, our unit of analysis is the context within which entrepreneurs are embedded. We explored the situated narratives and practices of a group of 15 entrepreneurs from 'Inisgrianan', a small town in the northwest of Ireland. We adopted a qualitative approach, utilizing an interpretive naturalistic philosophy. Findings show how social capital can enable, and how the mutuality of shared interests allows, encourages and engages entrepreneurs in sharing entrepreneurial expertise.


MCKEEVER, E., ANDERSON, A. and JACK, S. 2014. Entrepreneurship and mutuality: social capital in processes and practices. Entrepreneurship and regional development [online], 26(5-6), pages 453-477. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 25, 2014
Online Publication Date Jul 24, 2014
Publication Date Jul 31, 2014
Deposit Date Jan 5, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 5, 2018
Journal Entrepreneurship and regional development
Print ISSN 0898-5626
Electronic ISSN 1464-5114
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 5-6
Pages 453-477
Keywords Entrepreneurship; Social capital; Social context; Community; Ethnographic; Qualitative
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations