Relationship Economics - The Social Capital Paradigm and it's Application to Business, Politics and Other Transactions

  • ID: 1207474
  • April 2010
  • 282 Pages
  • Ashgate Publishing
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In a 24/7 world and a global economy, there is no doubt that relationships impact virtually every economic transaction. In Relationship Economics, Lindon Robison and Bryan Ritchie argue that what needs to be understood is not just whether relationships matter (which, of course, they do), but also, how much, and in what circumstances they should matter.

Providing a rigorous and measurable definition of the way that relationships among individuals create a capital, social capital, that can be saved, spent, and used like other forms of capital, Robison and Ritchie use numerous examples and insightful analysis, to explain how social capital shapes our ability to reduce poverty, understand corruption, encourage democracy, facilitate income equality, and respond to globalization.

The first part of the book explains how social capital can be manipulated, stored, expended, and invested. The second part explores how levels of social capital within relationships influence economic transactions both positively and negatively, which in turn shape poverty levels, economic efficiency, levels and types of political participation, and institutional structures.

About the Authors: READ MORE >

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Introduction: relationships matter;
Relationships and social capital;
Different kinds of social capital;
Do social capital motives matter (much)?;
An introduction to the social capital paradigm;
The social capital paradigm: the role of socio-emotional goods;
The social capital paradigm: the role of attachment values;
The social capital paradigm: the role of institutions: The social capital paradigm: the role of networks;
The social capital paradigm: the role of power;
The social capital exchange theory;
Social capital and the distribution of income;
The social capital paradigm and poverty reduction;
Social capital and ethics;
Social capital and globalization;
Social capital and the distribution of political power;
Social capital and culture;

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'Social relationships shape who we are, what we value and how we make our way in the world, yet paradoxically the social sciences have often struggled to incorporate this reality into how we understand human behavior and inform policy priorities, focusing instead on individuals or institutions. Robison and Ritchie correct this imbalance by revisiting Adam Smith's notion of sympathy, using it to outline a fascinating new framework for restoring social relations to the center of our deliberations of business, politics and community life.' – Michael Woolcock, World Bank

'Robison and Ritchie have written a tour de force that shows the importance of social capital (what they call relationships economics) in relation to power, culture, globalization, poverty, ethics, and politics. The book stimulates thought and research ideas regarding social capital's role in diverse realms from intimate relations to community development to high finance and national cultural differences and international politics. The frequent boxes with apt real-world examples make the book accessible to undergraduate students and academic researchers alike.' – Jan Flora, Iowa State University

'Accessible and well-written, the book shows how the creation and maintenance of relationships allows achievement of individual and collective goals in a manner that is often efficient, equitable and productive. Mobilizing a large body of scholarly literature, introducing myriad useful concepts, and sharing findings from the authors' own ground-breaking research, the book demonstrates that in satisfying others' socio-emotional needs, we become better able to reach mutually beneficial ends. In so doing, Relationship Economics presents a compelling alternative to the radically individualistic outlooks that have been the target of a growing chorus of social criticism.' – Steven J. Gold, Michigan State University.

'With a convincing array of examples...They document how social capital can make major differences not only in individual transactions, but in success versus failure of both corporations and sovereign economies in developing countries. Furthermore, their arguments sound a word of alarm about declining social capital in developed counties that are increasingly reliant on impersonal electronic trading and big-box retailing, and increasingly lacking the ethics of work, thrift, and honesty. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the role of social capital in economics or the potential failures of typical economic analysis.' – Richard E. Just, University of Maryland

'This book makes clear the need to put community back into business and economics. It is rich with a wide-variety of examples and cases to help this essential task.' – Gary Lynne, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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