Building social capital for internationalization

Main Article Content

Suzana Braga Rodrigues
John Child


Social capital may be defined as social relationships that confer actual or potential benefits. It can therefore be understood as a particular type of resource. Recent research has drawn attention to how connections and relationships (networking) both at home and abroad can be crucially important for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking to export or invest abroad. However, relatively little is known about how SMEs initiate, develop and maintain network relationships. This paper reports a study of 32 British SMEs exporting, or attempting to export, to Brazil and of domestic institutional agencies whose role was to facilitate business conducted between British and Brazilian SMEs. The study explored both the functions of social capital for the SMEs and the process whereby it was developed. Its findings confirm the value of social capital in international entrepreneurship. It can provide information, interpretation, market opportunities, and some degree of protection against the risks associated with foreignness, newness and smallness. The study also confirms the vital importance of personal trust in sustaining social capital between small firms.


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How to Cite
Rodrigues, S. B., & Child, J. (1). Building social capital for internationalization. Journal of Contemporary Administration, 16(1), 23-38.