Social capital is the benefit accrued from networks and relationships. In this project, links are made between relationships and ethics in a variety of contexts. A completed project for the Anglo-German Foundation with André Habisch and Rene Schmidpeter from the University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, Germany on social capital in small and medium-sized enterprises in Germany and the UK formed the starting point for this project which culminated in the book by Spence, L.J., Habisch, A. and Schmidpeter, R. (eds) (2004) Responsibility and Social Capital: the World of SMEs. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. Colleague Lutz Preuss contributed a chapter on ‘Aristotle in Your Local Garage: Enlarging Social Capital with an Ethics Test.’ A progression of this work is being completed by Paul Manning (PhD student, Royal Holloway, University of London) on social capital and reputation for small and medium sized enterprises.
A related area of work is on reciprocity in family firm succession (with Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj, Reading University). Other research looks at the ethics inherent in social capital (with Angela Ayios, Brunel University and Ronald Jeurissen, University of Nyenrode, Netherlands).
Spence, L.J., Habisch, A. and Schmidpeter, R. (eds) (2004) Responsibility and Social Capital: the World of SMEs. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?PID=269824
Spence, L.J., Schmidpeter, R. and Habisch, A. (2003) ‘Assessing Social Capital: Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Germany and the UK’ Journal of Business Ethics, 47(1), 17-29.