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The impact structure of social capital on corporate performance: Empirical evidence from listed companies in China

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Vertical relationships with the government, particular relational capital and organizational social network capital, constitute corporate social capital (CSC). Using the empirical data of 97 listed companies in China, this paper examines the impact of CSC on corporate performance, finds that CSC has a positive impact on sales revenue but an insignificant impact on the improvement of ROA. More specifically, when a firm enlarges its sales revenue, the function of organizational network capital is stronger than that of a particular relational capital and that of governmental connections. The paper also finds that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have more advantages in using governmental connections, therefore leading to better social status than non-SOEs do, who have fewer advantages in using any particular relational capital. The article suggests that managers should appraise carefully the effectiveness of CSC, and combine it with other resources; firms should distinguish the structure of the impact of CSC on performance improvement in a dynamic way. With respect to the implication of this paper, it could help in analyzing firm behaviors in the transitional China.


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Correspondence to Junwei Shi.

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Translated from paper in International Symposium on Entrepreneur Research and Education, 2006, April (in Chinese)

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Shi, J., Fu, H. & Hu, L. The impact structure of social capital on corporate performance: Empirical evidence from listed companies in China. Front. Bus. Res. China 1, 135–154 (2007).

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  • social capital
  • corporate performance
  • listed company
  • China