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Background[ edit ] The term social capital was in intermittent use from aboutbefore becoming widely used in the late s. He observed that Americans were prone to meeting at as many gatherings as possible to discuss all possible issues of state, economics, or the world that could be witnessed.
The high levels of transparency caused greater participation from the people and thus allowed for democracy to work better. The French writer highlighted also that the level of social participation social capital in American society was directly linked to the equality of conditions Ferragina, ; ; Hanifan 's article regarding local support for rural schools is one of the first occurrences of the term social capital in reference to social cohesion and personal investment in the community.
I do not refer to real estate, or to personal property or to cold cash, but rather to that in life which tends to make these tangible substances count for most in the daily lives of people, namely, goodwill, fellowship, mutual sympathy and social intercourse among a group of individuals and families who make up a social unit… If he may come into contact with his neighbour, and they with other neighbours, there will be an accumulation of social capital, which may immediately satisfy his social needs and which may bear a social potentiality sufficient to the substantial improvement of living conditions in the whole community.
The community as a whole will benefit by the cooperation of all its parts, while the individual will find in his associations the advantages of the help, the sympathy, and the fellowship of his neighbours pp.
John Dewey used the term in his monograph entitled "School and Society" inbut he offered no definition of it.
Jane Jacobs used the term early in the s. Although she did not explicitly define the term social capital, her usage referred to the value of networks. Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu used the term in in his Outline of a Theory of Practice,  and clarified the term some years later in contrast to culturaleconomicand symbolic capital.
The concept that underlies social capital has a much longer history; thinkers exploring the relation between associational life and democracy were using similar concepts regularly by the 19th century, drawing on the work of earlier writers such as James Madison The Federalist Papers and Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America to integrate concepts of social cohesion and connectedness into the pluralist tradition in American political science.
John Dewey may have made the first direct mainstream use of social capital in The School and Society inthough he did not offer a definition.
The power of community governance has been stressed by many philosophers from antiquity to the 18th century, from Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas and Edmund Burke Bowles and Gintis, Such a set of theories became dominant in the last centuries, but many thinkers questioned the complicated relationship between modern society and the importance of old institutions, in particular family and traditional communities Ferragina, They observed a breakdown of traditional bonds and the progressive development of anomie and alienation in society Wilmott, In the words of Stein The appearance of the modern social capital conceptualization is a new way to look at this debate, keeping together the importance of community to build generalized trust and the same time, the importance of individual free choice, in order to create a more cohesive society Ferragina, ;  Ferragina, .
It is for this reason that social capital generated so much interest in the academic and political world Rose, Robert Putnam has used the concept in a much more positive light: Mahyar Arefi  identifies consensus building as a direct positive indicator of social capital.
Consensus implies "shared interest" and agreement among various actors and stakeholders to induce collective action. Collective action is thus an indicator of increased social capital. Edwards and Foley, as editors of a special edition of the American Behavioural Scientist on "Social Capital, Civil Society and Contemporary Democracy", raised two key issues in the study of social capital.
First, social capital is not equally available to all, in much the same way that other forms of capital are differently available. Geographic and social isolation limit access to this resource.
Second, not all social capital is created equally. The value of a specific source of social capital depends in no small part on the socio-economic position of the source with society.
On top of this, Portes has identified four negative consequences of social capital: Three main implications of intercommunal ties explain their worth: Facilitate communication in the community across ethnic lines Squelch false rumors Help the administration carry out its job and in particular peace, security and justice This is a useful distinction; nevertheless its implication on social capital can only be accepted if one espouses the functionalist understanding of the latter concept.
Indeed, it can be argued that interethnic, as well as intra-ethnic networks can serve various purposes, either increasing or diminishing social capital. In fact, Varshney himself notes that intraethnic policing equivalent to the "self-policing" mechanism proposed by Fearon and Laitin  may lead to the same result as interethnic engagement.
Social capital is often linked to the success of democracy and political involvement. Putnamin his book Bowling Alone makes the argument that social capital is linked to the recent decline in American political participation.
This framework has been rediscussed by considering simultaneously the condition of European regions and specifically Southern Italy Ferragina, ; Ferragina, Thomas Sander  defines it as "the collective value of all social networks who people knowand the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other norms of reciprocity.
It "creates value for the people who are connected, and for bystanders as well. Social capital has been used at various times to explain superior managerial performance,  the growth of entrepreneurial firms,  improved performance of functionally diverse groups,  the value derived from strategic alliances,  and enhanced supply chain relations.
Early attempts to define social capital focused on the degree to which social capital as a resource should be used for public good or for the benefit of individuals.
Putnam  suggested that social capital would facilitate co-operation and mutually supportive relations in communities and nations and would therefore be a valuable means of combating many of the social disorders inherent in modern societies, for example crime.
In contrast to those focusing on the individual benefit derived from the web of social relationships and ties individual actors find themselves in, attribute social capital to increased personal access to information and skill sets and enhanced power.
He defines social capital as "the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition.The MBA – General Management (online/VA) has an entrepreneurial focus that prepares you to manage people & resources.
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