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Social capital and team performance

Aaron W. Clopton (Department of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)

Team Performance Management

ISSN: 1352-7592

Article publication date: 18 October 2011




This article attempts to contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the value of social networks, or social capital, within the group process towards group and team performance by exploring the explicit contribution of social capital towards a group or team's performance.


The research views the potential contribution of social capital through the perspective of the resource‐based view of organizations, where social capital's unique potential contribution to the organization's competitive advantage is highlighted. Data were collected from undergraduate student‐athletes (n=570) from 23 NCAA colleges and universities across the USA using a multiple hierarchical regression analysis.


Results show a significant connection between social capital and team performance. This contribution is above and beyond other input and process variables, such as past team performance.

Research limitations/implications

Data were limited to a cross‐sectional view of social capital and team performance. Results, however, support past theoretical models where social capital maintains a significant presence in overall group effectiveness.


While social capital has been connected to team performance conceptually, few research studies have made this connection explicit. This article provides justification for maintaining social capital as a viable and ubiquitous element to the dynamic group process. Findings here also provide additional support for re‐examining social capital as significant contributor to a firm's competitive advantage.



Clopton, A.W. (2011), "Social capital and team performance", Team Performance Management, Vol. 17 No. 7/8, pp. 369-381.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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