The Role of Social Capital and Organizational Knowledge in Enhancing Entrepreneurial Opportunities in High Technology Environments

Donna De Carolis

LeBow College of Business
Drexel University


The purpose of this article is to explore the relationships among social capital, organizational knowledge and entrepreneurial opportunities in high technology industries. In so doing, I integrate insights from the resource and knowledge based views of the firm, social capital and network theory literature and a conceptual framework of entrepreneurship. A model is developed based on the premise that the strategic actions of firms are heavily influenced by the social context in which they are embedded (Baum & Dutton, 1996; Dacin, 1997; Oliver, 1997). This social context may be conceptualized as flows of knowledge into an organization that ultimately form the substance of a firm's knowledge stocks (De Carolis & Deeds, 1999; Dierickx & Cool, 1989).

The article proceeds as follows. First, brief descriptions of the concepts of social capital and organizational knowledge are outlined. Second, I review a rich framework for understanding entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial opportunities. Third, I present and describe the model based on the integration of social capital theory and the entrepreneurship conceptual framework. The article closes with implications for research and practice.

To appear in "Strategic Management of Intellectual Capital and Organizational Knowledge" edited by Nick Bontis & Chun Wei Choo (Oxford University Press).