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Social capital in e-commerce era: toward a deeper knowledge of its conceptualization and empirical measurement in agribusiness

Le Dang Lang (Thu Dau Mot University, Thu Dau Mot, Vietnam)

South Asian Journal of Business Studies

ISSN: 2398-628X

Article publication date: 22 November 2021

Issue publication date: 30 August 2023




E-commerce, with technology as its backbone, is an indispensable business trend associated with the wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Recently, its intensifying role has also been noticed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, technology adoption to pursue an e-commerce model for agribusinessmen is not easy, while the COVID-19 has made them lose customers and led them to crises. In that context, the role of social capital (SC) has increasingly been paid significant attention, especially for micro and family businesses. Agribusinessmen can use SC to adopt technology, renew and reinforce their businesses in the global agricultural supply chain disruption context. However, there seems to be a dearth of an integral measurement of social capital (IMSC) to apply to the practice effectively. Recognizing this need, the current study aims to develop an integral scale for SC.


This research adopts a widely accepted and rigorous scale development process, a mixed-methods research design and essential statistical techniques to develop an IMSC.


The result develops an IMSC consisting of nine facets: linking-corporate, bonding-bridging, trust in political institutions, trust in public services, generalized social trust, norms and social sanctions, subjective safety, civicness and community cohesiveness. The scales of these facets are found to be unidimensional, reliable and valid.


This is the first study developing an IMSC to contribute to the extant literature. The study also provides managerial implications for practitioners to strengthen SC and adopt technology to improve their businesses.



This paper forms part of a special section “Role of technology in E-commerce: Bright and the Dark Side”, guest edited by Abhishek Behl and Justin Zuopeng Zhang.

Funding: No funding declared.

Conflict of interest: No conflict of interest declared.

The author would like to convey sincere appreciation to the editors and anonymous reviewers for the effort and time in providing constructive reviews that helped to substantially improve the quality of the manuscript.


Lang, L.D. (2023), "Social capital in e-commerce era: toward a deeper knowledge of its conceptualization and empirical measurement in agribusiness", South Asian Journal of Business Studies, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 409-426.



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