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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Tanja Kontinen and Arto Ojala

The aim of this study is to discuss how social capital is developed in the internationalization process of small and medium‐sized family enterprises (family SMEs).

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to discuss how social capital is developed in the internationalization process of small and medium‐sized family enterprises (family SMEs).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports findings from an in‐depth multiple case study with four Finnish manufacturing family SMEs. The data were analyzed through the perspectives of structural holes, network closure, and the interplay between these two mechanisms.

Findings

The material in the paper demonstrated that family entrepreneurs had a large number of structural holes when launching international operations, but also after several years of running international operations. Instead of trying to span structural holes, they concentrated merely on developing the network closure with agents and subsidiary staff. The case firms spent a lot of resources on finding suitable network ties and on developing good network closure with the selected social capital ties.

Research limitations/implications

There are some aspects that might differ depending on the home and target country of firms. For instance, firms in some Asian countries are able to utilize emigrant relationships that help them with networking, which was not the case here with Finnish family SMEs.

Practical implications

Family entrepreneurs seem to have a tendency to concentrate on a limited number of foreign partners, and to neglect the building of new relationships that could help them in future challenges.

Originality/value

This study: responds to calls for more research on network development in the entrepreneurial process, especially in the context of internationalization; introduces the notions of network closure and structural holes to the internationalization context; and reveals how social capital restricts and facilitates family SMEs' international operations.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 June 2021

Thomas A. Lee

The first purpose of this study is to respond to Matthews’ (2017) criticisms of Larson's (1977) professional project and accounting historians' past use of Larson (1977…

Abstract

Purpose

The first purpose of this study is to respond to Matthews’ (2017) criticisms of Larson's (1977) professional project and accounting historians' past use of Larson (1977) when researching public accountancy professionalization. The second purpose is to use the response to Matthews (2017) as the foundation to construct a model of socio-economic closures of potential use for research and study.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to respond to Matthews (2017), the study provides an interpretive review of Larson (1977) and analyses historical professionalization research published in leading accounting journals over three decades. The review and response, together with prior theory contributions, form the foundation for the proposed model of closures.

Findings

Matthews’ (2017) criticisms of Larson (1977) and accounting historians' past use of Larson (1977) are, with some exceptions, not well-founded. Larson's (1977) professional project is an ideal model of professionalization and has been used appropriately by accounting historians to introduce and explain rather than a model or test public accountancy professionalization. The analyzed data from research journals are consistent with Larson (1977) in terms of identifiable historical phases of and specific closures actions in the professionalization process.

Research limitations/implications

The study analyses peer-reviewed studies in selected accounting research journals over a defined period.

Practical implications

The study provides a nuanced review of Larson (1977), clarifies evidence of the past use of Larson (1977) by accounting historians, challenges criticism of this use, identifies primary research that focuses on socio-economic closures and proposes a model of such closures for future research and study.

Originality/value

The study contains a comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed research of public accountancy professionalization and proposes a model of closures inductively derived from empirical evidence and prior theoretical contributions.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Ray Reagans and Bill McEvily

Knowledge sharing is a fundamental source of competitive advantage. Social networks are thought to play an important role in knowledge sharing, but are presumed to create…

Abstract

Knowledge sharing is a fundamental source of competitive advantage. Social networks are thought to play an important role in knowledge sharing, but are presumed to create a trade-off such that a network can be optimized to promote either knowledge seeking or knowledge transfer, but not both. The trade-off, however, is premised on, and representative of a broader tendency to treat, brokerage and closure as contradictory network forms. We challenge this assertion and propose a theory of knowledge sharing with brokerage and closure as compatible and complementary. Evidence from a contract research and development firm broadly supports our theory. We also report the results of a simulation analysis, which illustrate that only in the extremely rare case when a network is characterized by nearly complete balance do brokerage and closure begin to create a trade-off.

Details

Network Strategy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1442-3

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 27 April 2020

Massimo Sargiacomo, Christian Corsi, Luciano D'Amico, Tiziana Di Cimbrini and Alan Sangster

The paper investigates the closure mechanisms and strategies of exclusion concerning the establishment and subsequent functioning of the Collegio dei Rasonati, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper investigates the closure mechanisms and strategies of exclusion concerning the establishment and subsequent functioning of the Collegio dei Rasonati, the professional body of accountants that was established in Venice in 1581 and operated until the end of the 18th century.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design offers a critical longitudinal explanation of the emergence of the Collegio dei Rasonati as a professional body in the context of Venetian society by relying on the social closure theory elaborated by Collins (1975); Parkin (1979) and Murphy (1988).

Findingse

The Collegio dei Rasonati was established to overcome the prerogatives of a social class in accessing the accounting profession. However, the pre-existing professional elites enacted a set of social closure strategies able to transform this professional body into a stronghold of their privileges.

Research limitations/implications

As virtually all of the evidence concerning the admission examinations has been lost over time, the investigation is restricted to the study of the few examples that have survived. The main implication of the study concerns the understanding of some dynamics leading to neutralize attempts to replace class privileges with a meritocratic system.

Originality/value

The research investigates the structure of the rules of social closure revealing the possibility of an antagonistic relationship between different co-existing forms of exclusion within the same structure. Moreover, it highlights that a form of exclusion can be made of different hierarchical levels.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Mike Vuolo, Christopher Uggen and Sarah Lageson

This paper tests whether employers responded particularly negatively to African American job applicants during the deep U.S. recession that began in 2007. Theories of…

Abstract

This paper tests whether employers responded particularly negatively to African American job applicants during the deep U.S. recession that began in 2007. Theories of labor queuing and social closure posit that members of privileged groups will act to minimize labor market competition in times of economic turbulence, which could advantage Whites relative to African Americans. Although social closure should be weakest in the less desirable, low-wage job market, it may extend downward during recessions, pushing minority groups further down the labor queue and exacerbating racial inequalities in hiring. We consider two complementary data sources: (1) a field experiment with a randomized block design and (2) the nationally representative NLSY97 sample. Contrary to expectations, both analyses reveal a comparable recession-based decline in job prospects for White and African American male applicants, implying that hiring managers did not adapt new forms of social closure and demonstrating the durability of inequality even in times of structural change. Despite this proportionate drop, however, the recession left African Americans in an extremely disadvantaged position. Whites during the recession obtained favorable responses from employers at rates similar to African Americans prior to the recession. The combination of experimental methods and nationally representative longitudinal data yields strong evidence on how race and recession affect job prospects in the low-wage labor market.

Details

Emerging Conceptions of Work, Management and the Labor Market
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-459-0

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 March 2020

Jacqueline Burgess and Christian Jones

The purpose of this study is to investigate members’ reactions to the forced closure of a narrative video game brand community and its participatory culture.

1083

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate members’ reactions to the forced closure of a narrative video game brand community and its participatory culture.

Design/methodology/approach

The BioWare Social Network forums closure was announced in a thread, which attracted 8,891 posts. These were analysed using thematic analysis, facilitated by the software program Leximancer and non-participatory netnography.

Findings

The brand community and participatory culture members were predominantly distressed because they would lose their relationships with each other and access to the participatory culture’s creative output.

Research limitations/implications

Previous research suggested that video game players cannot be fans and that player-generated content is exploitative. However, members, self-identified as fans, encouraged BioWare’s use of their player-created content for financial gain and articulated the community’s marketing benefits, all of which have implications for Fan and Game Studies’ researchers. Research using primary data could identify brand communities and participatory cultures’ specific benefits and their members’ attitudes about brands’ commercial use of their outputs. Further research is required to identify other products and brands not suitable for establishing brand communities on social media to determine the best ways to manage them.

Practical implications

Addressing narrative brand communities’ complaints quickly can prevent negative financial outcomes and using social media sites for brand communities may not be suitable structurally or because of members’ privacy concerns. Furthermore, consumers often have intense emotional bonds with narrative brands, their communities and participatory cultures, which marketers may underestimate or misunderstand.

Originality/value

This study of the unique phenomenon of the forced closure of a narrative brand community and its participatory culture increased understandings about them.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 7 November 2018

Fiona M. Kay

Building on relational inequality theory, this paper incorporates social capital as a device to trace the flow of resources through relationships originating within and…

Abstract

Building on relational inequality theory, this paper incorporates social capital as a device to trace the flow of resources through relationships originating within and beyond organizations. I draw on a survey of over 1,700 lawyers to evaluate key dynamics of social capital that shape earnings: bridging and bonding, reciprocity exchanges and sponsorship, and boundary maintenance. The findings show social capital lends a lift to law graduates through bridges to professional careers and sponsorship following job entry. Racial minorities, however, suffer a shortfall of personal networks to facilitate job searches, and once having secured jobs, minorities experience social closure practices by clients and colleagues that disadvantage them in their professional work. A sizeable earnings gap remains between racial minority and white lawyers after controlling for human and social capitals, social closure practices, and organizational context. This earnings gap is particularly large among racial minorities with more years of experience and those working in large law firms. The findings demonstrate the importance of identifying the interrelations that connect social network and organizational context to impact social inequality.

Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Xuexin Xu, Xiaodong Yang, Junhua Lu, Ji Lan, Tai-Quan Peng, Yingcai Wu and Wei Chen

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) create quasi-real social systems in which players can interact with one another, and quasi-real economic systems…

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Abstract

Purpose

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) create quasi-real social systems in which players can interact with one another, and quasi-real economic systems where players can consume and trade in-game items with virtual currency. The in-game currency price, an important indicator of a virtual economy, is highly contingent on players’ behavioral interaction in MMORPGs. The purpose of this paper is to adopt a network perspective to examine how topological characteristics of social networks in an MMORPG, namely, network externalities, density, and closure, would exert impacts on the in-game currency price.

Design/methodology/approach

Players’ behavioral data were collected from a popular MMORPG in China on a weekly basis for 52 weeks. With a time series analytical approach, the empirical model for the price function of in-game currency was estimated with vector autoregression.

Findings

The results show that the number of core avatars and network density are positively associated with in-game currency price, while network closure has a negative effect on in-game currency price. However, in-game currency price is found to have no significant relationship with the trade volume of the currency.

Originality/value

This study fills in an important research gap by investigating factors influencing the in-game currency price of MMORPGs from a network perspective, which contributes to the existing literature of network effects and advances our understanding about how players’ interaction will influence the dynamics of a virtual economy. The findings could offer useful insights for online game companies to better understand their players’ social interaction and consumption behavior.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 February 2017

Derek Robert Matthews

The purpose of this paper is to offer a critique of the sociological model of professionalisation known as the “professional project” put forward by Magali Larson, which…

1327

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer a critique of the sociological model of professionalisation known as the “professional project” put forward by Magali Larson, which has become the prevailing paradigm for accounting historians.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper challenges the use of the concepts of monopoly, social closure, collective social mobility and the quest for status as applied to the history of accountancy. The arguments are made on both empirical and theoretical grounds.

Findings

The use of the concept of monopoly is not justified in the case of accounting societies or firms. The only monopoly the accountants required was the exclusive right to the titles, for example, CA in Britain and CPA in the USA. They were right to argue that the credentials were merely to distinguish themselves in the market place from untrained accountants. The validity of the concept of social closure via artificial barriers to entry is questioned and new evidence is provided that the elite accountants have always recruited heavily from classes lower in the social hierarchy than themselves. The concept of the collective social mobility project is found wanting on a priori and empirical grounds; accountants behaved no differently to other business classes and have probably not enhanced their social status since the formation of their societies.

Originality/value

The paper offers, in the case of accountancy, one of the few critiques of the accepted model of professionalisation. It demonstrates the weak explanatory power of the sociological paradigms used by accounting historians.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 August 2022

Hanieh Javadi Khasraghi, Xuan Wang, Jun Sun and Bahar Javadi Khasraghi

To obtain optimal deliverables, more and more crowdsourcing platforms allow contest teams to submit tentative solutions and update scores/rankings on public leaderboards…

Abstract

Purpose

To obtain optimal deliverables, more and more crowdsourcing platforms allow contest teams to submit tentative solutions and update scores/rankings on public leaderboards. Such feedback-seeking behavior for progress benchmarking pertains to the team representation activity of boundary spanning. The literature on virtual team performance primarily focuses on team characteristics, among which network closure is generally considered a positive factor. This study further examines how boundary spanning helps mitigate the negative impact of network closure.

Design/methodology/approach

This study collected data of 9,793 teams in 246 contests from Kaggle.com. Negative binomial regression modeling and linear regression modeling are employed to investigate the relationships among network closure, boundary spanning and team performance in crowdsourcing contests.

Findings

Whereas network closure turns out to be a negative asset for virtual teams to seek platform feedback, boundary spanning mitigates its impact on team performance. On top of such a partial mediation, boundary spanning experience and previous contest performance serve as potential moderators.

Practical implications

The findings offer helpful implications for researchers and practitioners on how to break network closure and encourage boundary spanning with the establishment of facilitating structures in crowdsourcing contests.

Originality/value

The study advances the understanding of theoretical relationships among network closure, boundary spanning and team performance in crowdsourcing contests.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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