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Measuring the social capabilities and the implication on innovation : Evidence from a special industrial cluster

Annunziata de Felice (Department of Law, University of Bari, Bari, Italy)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Article publication date: 10 November 2014




The purpose of this paper is to seek to develop a rigorous analysis of social capabilities (SC) and measuring them in a special industrial cluster, considering the key role of knowledge and SC in innovation.


The paper sets off from the definition of SC and the elements that characterize them in an industrial cluster. The focus also examines how it is possible to measure SC within a specific area, using the scoreboard approach. The empirical aspect remains based upon the original results of surveys conducted on a sample of entrepreneurs specializing in a special industrial cluster utilizing a multi-method approach and the paper presents the empirical analysis estimating an innovation equation.


The results of the case study show that the relationship between SC and innovation does not only involve large enterprises but small- and medium-sized businesses as well.


Measuring SC is very complex since not all the highlighted determinants can be subject to empirical verification and given that they are intangible elements, residual and often incorporated into tacit knowledge and a literature that can help us in defining and measuring them accurately is not always available for all the indicators. In this research the author proposes a measure of SC using a composite indicator and investigates the effective role of these inputs in stimulating innovative activity in an industrial cluster performance.



de Felice, A. (2014), "Measuring the social capabilities and the implication on innovation : Evidence from a special industrial cluster", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 41 No. 6, pp. 907-928.



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