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Social capital and dynamic capabilities in international performance of SMEs

José Carlos M. R. Pinho (School of Economics and Management, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal)

Journal of Strategy and Management

ISSN: 1755-425X

Article publication date: 25 October 2011




The major goals of this paper are twofold: first, it aims to explore the link between social capital (structural, relational and cognitive) and the exploitative and explorative capabilities; second, to examine the influence of exploitative and explorative capabilities on international performance.


This paper is conceptual in nature and relies on a conceptual model that builds on and synthesizes the theoretical foundations of social capital (structural, relational and cognitive), dynamic capabilities and international performance.


A useful framework for further research in the social network field and dynamic capabilities is presented. In order to build new dynamic capabilities to cope with turbulent and unpredictable markets, small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) need to leverage their network relationships that provide access to novel sources of information. These dynamic capabilities may in turn positively influence international performance.

Practical implications

The paper may assist other researchers with a different template of possible relationships that can better explain international performance.


This paper responds to calls for theoretical claims based on a comprehensive distinction of how a social network perspective based on social capital is an important condition for the development of dynamic capabilities of a firm's internationalisation.



Carlos M., J. (2011), "Social capital and dynamic capabilities in international performance of SMEs", Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 404-421.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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