Measuring Social Capital for Social Performance

38 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2008

See all articles by Robert G. Boutilier

Robert G. Boutilier

Simon Fraser University - Centre for Sustainable Development


By definition, measuring the social capital in firm-stakeholder relationships assesses the degree to which the company has met essential preconditions for good CSP. Previous studies identified the three most important dimensions of social capital as the structural (e.g., network ties), the relational (e.g., trust), and the cognitive (e.g., shared goals, shared paradigms). A five-year longitudinal study in Papua New Guinea produced measures of social capital that were consistent with the three dimensional view including a cross-culturally meaningful measure of trust. A second cross-sectional study of 15 diverse communities on four continents confirmed the cross-cultural applicability of the cognitive and relational dimensional measures. The findings suggest that a universal predictor of a company's CSP is feasible.

Keywords: social capital, corporate social performance, network trust

JEL Classification: M14

Suggested Citation

Boutilier, Robert G., Measuring Social Capital for Social Performance. Available at SSRN: or

Robert G. Boutilier (Contact Author)

Simon Fraser University - Centre for Sustainable Development ( email )

AQ 5054
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A1S6
(778) 782-5520 (Phone)


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