Social Capital, ICT Use and Company Performance: Findings from the Medicon Valley Biotech Cluster

Ada Scupola, Charles Steinfield, Carolina Lopez-Nicolas

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    This study explores how some uses of ICTs, as well as having social capital and other means of access to knowledge resources, are related to company performance in a knowledge-intensive business cluster. Data were collected through a survey of companies in the Medicon Valley biotech region located in Denmark and Southern Sweden. Responding companies included established producers of biotechnology-related products as well as small biotechnology start-up firms emphasizing research and development.  The results suggest that when ICT use was aimed at accessing and enhancing human and intellectual capital, such as use of online databases for recruitment, intranets to enhance employee access to information and education, and collaborative tools to connect with off-premise researchers, companies reported better performance outcomes. Social capital in the form of connections to people who can provide access to information and opportunity predicted company performance, particularly for small start-up companies. The pattern of results complements prior work that establishes the importance of social capital in regional business clusters by demonstrating how certain ICT uses complement personal relationships to enhance the likelihood of success among companies in the region.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
    Volume77
    Issue number7
    Pages (from-to)1156-1166
    ISSN0040-1625
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Keywords

    • social capital
    • ICTs
    • business clusters
    • biotechnology

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