Social Capital: A Review from an Ethics Perspective

17 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2013

See all articles by Angela Ayios

Angela Ayios

Brunel University

Ronald Jeurissen

Nyenrode Business University

Paul Manning

University of Liverpool - Management School (ULMS); Trent University

Laura J. Spence

University of London - Royal Holloway College

Date Written: January 2014

Abstract

Social capital has as its key element the value of social relationships to generate positive outcomes, both for the key parties involved and for wider society. Some authors have noted that social capital nevertheless has a dark side. There is a moral element to such a conceptualisation, yet there is scarce discussion of ethics within the social capital literature. In this paper ethical theory is applied to four traditions or approaches to economic social capital: neo‐capitalism; network/reputation; neo‐Tocquevellian; and development. Each is considered in detail and subject to ethical analysis by the application of utilitarianism, Kantianism, justice and rights, and ethic of care. Accordingly, the assumption that social capital is either value‐neutral or a force for good is critiqued, and a framework for understanding social capital from an ethics perspective is presented.

Suggested Citation

Ayios, Angela and Jeurissen, Ronald and Manning, Paul and Spence, Laura J., Social Capital: A Review from an Ethics Perspective (January 2014). Business Ethics: A European Review, Vol. 23, Issue 1, pp. 108-124, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2365911 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/beer.12040

Angela Ayios

Brunel University ( email )

Kingston Lane
Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH
United Kingdom

Ronald Jeurissen

Nyenrode Business University

Straatweg 25
P.O. Box 130
Breukelen, 3620 AC
Netherlands

Paul Manning

University of Liverpool - Management School (ULMS)

Chatham Street
Liverpool, L69 7ZH
United Kingdom

Trent University ( email )

1600 West Bank Drive
Peterborough, Ontario K9J 7B8
Canada

Laura J. Spence

University of London - Royal Holloway College ( email )

Egham
Surrey, TW20 0EX
United Kingdom

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