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Generating social capital at the workplace: a South African case of inside-out social renewal

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The concept of social capital, and its role in the development of political stability and economic growth, has become a topic of increasing interest in state, business and community sectors alike. Within this body of discourse, though, it is generally assumed that the influence of social capital is from the 'outside-in': that social capital is generated within institutions of civil society and is beneficially utilized by private and public sector organizations. Through a case study of a South African industrial organization, this paper provides an example of 'inside-out' influence where social capital generated by collaborative forms of social organization at the workplace, is distributed across family and community structures. The authors argue that this process, whereby civil society becomes a beneficiary of social capital produced in business and industrial workplaces, offers new policy options for social renewal especially within societies that have subjected to civil unrest and/or prolonged periods of oppression of some kind.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2001

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