Measuring social capital through network analysis and its influence on individual performance

Alireza Abbasi, Rolf T. Wigand, Liaquat Hossain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies of social networks highlight the importance of network structure or structural properties of a given network and its impact on performance outcome. One of the important properties of this network structure is referred to as social capital, which is the network of contacts and the associated values attached to these networks of contacts. This study provides empirical evidence of the influence of social capital and performance within the context of academic collaboration (coauthorship) and suggests that the collaborative process involves social capital embedded within relationships and network structures among direct coauthors. Association between scholars' social capital and their citation-based performance measures is examined. To overcome the limitations of traditional social network metrics for measuring the influence of scholars' social capital within coauthorship networks, the traditional social network metrics is extended by proposing two new measures, of which one is non-weighted (the power-diversity index) and the other (power-tie-diversity index) is weighted by the number of collaboration instances. The Spearman's correlation rank test is used to examine the association between scholars' social capital measures and their citation-based performance. Results suggest that research performance of authors is positively correlated with their social capital measures. The power-diversity index and power-tie-diversity index serve as indicators of power and influence of an individual's ability to control communication and information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-73
Number of pages8
JournalLibrary and Information Science Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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