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Entrepreneurship, occupational division and social capital differentials

Robert Lee (Department of Management and Centre for International Business and Innovation, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Heinz Tuselmann (Department of Management and Centre for International Business and Innovation, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 31 July 2013

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how occupational division impacts on social capital and access to resources that may have a bearing on the growth potential and success of a new venture.

Design/methodology/approach

This study compares the social capital profiles of early‐stage entrepreneurs in England with distinct occupational classifications – i.e. entrepreneurs who were completing training on the Science and Enterprise Challenge (SEC) initiative and pursuing professional and higher technician businesses, and entrepreneurs who were completing training on the New Entrepreneurship Scholarship (NES) initiative and who were residing in deprived areas, unemployed or underemployed and pursuing non‐professional businesses. The European Socio‐economic Classification (ESeC) was adopted to classify occupation. The entrepreneurs completed aided name generator questionnaires and in‐depth interviews.

Findings

The findings demonstrate that professional and higher technician entrepreneurs have higher levels of bridging and diverse resources when compared to non‐professional entrepreneurs residing in deprived areas. The non‐professional entrepreneurs also seem over‐reliant on too much bonding.

Practical implications

Policy makers strive to understand who has the most productive social capital when launching a business and who does not. The findings may help provide an initial awareness that across the board entrepreneurial policies are inappropriate, as the building of social capital seems contextual.

Originality/value

The high bridging social capital of professional and higher technician entrepreneurs could enable “getting ahead” and could be entrepreneurial/innovative “facilitating social capital”. The non‐professional entrepreneurs residing in deprived areas' over‐reliance on bonding social capital could be a liability and entrepreneurial/innovative “inhibiting social capital”.

Keywords

Citation

Lee, R. and Tuselmann, H. (2013), "Entrepreneurship, occupational division and social capital differentials", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 661-680. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSBED-04-2013-0058

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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