There is increasing evidence of the positive role social capital plays in accessing resources and capabilities from and with other actors, and in establishing and maintaining business relationships. Yet, surprisingly little is known about how an organization's social capital and its utilization evolve over time. Focusing on this gap, this paper explores the role of social capital and its structural, relational and cognitive dimensions in the growth of science-and-technology-based SMEs. On the basis of our studies on social capital, entrepreneurial networks and SME growth, we develop a conceptual framework to describe their development through four overlapping phases, each of which involves different managerial tasks: innovation assessment, offering development, commercialization and rapid growth. The results of our longitudinal multiple case studies show that; (i) different types of networks and relationships are important in the transitional periods between the growth phases; and (ii) the role of social capital and its different dimensions varies in developing, maintaining and utilizing these partnerships and network relationships. These findings offer several managerial implications.

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Keywords Networks, Relationships, SME growth, Social capital
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Journal Industrial Marketing Management
Partanen, J. (Jukka), Möller, K. (Kristian), Westerlund, M, Rajala, R. (Risto), & Rajala, A. (Arto). (2008). Social capital in the growth of science-and-technology-based SMEs. Industrial Marketing Management, 37(5), 513–522. doi:10.1016/j.indmarman.2007.09.012