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Journal of Competitiveness

Is Centrality the Key to High Performance?

Eckenhofer Eva Maria

Social Networks, Social Capital, Network Structure, Performance.

Social Capital, the outcome for individuals from networks with shared norms and values, has already been discussed as a driver for innovation and performance improvement. Social Capital is a resource embedded in social structures, which can be accessed as well as mobilized in purposeful actions. There are various theories about social resources and structures leading to discussions on whether network closure or the absence of ties is the key to the success of Social Capital. Nevertheless, little is known about the relationship between network centrality and Social Capital. Therefore, this paper aims at contributing to the discussion by analyzing, using a case study, the structural position of actors who are rich in Social Capital. The study also assesses if the actors who are central in the social network are the ones with the highest performance. This study was based on a survey of 170 students from a Czech University, who form three different networks. For the detection of Social Capital, a procedure developed and tested in the European Values Study Surveys was applied. The relational data was analyzed using UCINET and illustrated with the use of VISONE. The outcomes suggest that there is a connection between the centrality of an actor and their performance, not only in terms of average grade but also Social Capital. Furthermore, the data analysis shows that the number of languages an actor speaks as well as experiences in foreign countries impacts on their performance and location within a network.

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Journal of Competitiveness


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ISSN 1804-171X (Print); eISSN 1804-1728 (On-line)

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