Social capital, knowledge sharing and innovation : the role of business group affiliation in Turkey

  • Ozlem Ozen

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This thesis investigates the relationships between interfirm social capital, knowledge sharing and innovation in the context of business groups in an emerging economy, namely, Turkey. It is contended that these relationships are contingent on the context in which firms operate (Inkpen and Tsang 2005; Moran 2005). In this thesis, business groups, being a dominant form of organisation in emerging economies, is considered as the relevant context. Firstly, taking into consideration business group affiliation, the facilitating role of structural, relational and cognitive social capital regarding knowledge sharing is explored. Secondly, focusing on explorative and exploitative types of knowledge, the impacts of these two types of knowledge sharing on innovation along with the moderation effect of business group affiliation are examined. Moreover, in order to provide insights into the overall theme of the research, group affiliates’ knowledge sharing and social capital relations within and outside their boundaries are investigated. Consequently, this study contributes to the existing literature through integrating previous research and the business group context. The conceptual arguments are tested with a quantitative methodology using unique survey data obtained from 128 Turkish firms listed in Istanbul Chamber of Industry top and second 500 industrial enterprises yearbooks. The empirical findings indicate that firms generally utilize social capital in relation to knowledge exchanges, but its impact varies by group affiliation. In addition, firms benefit from knowledge sharing in terms of innovation. However, knowledge sharing has a stronger influence on innovation for independent firms than for affiliated ones. Moreover, the examination of a subset of business group firms reveals that affiliated firms engage in knowledge sharing and social capital with their sister affiliates more than they do with firms outside the group. The overall results suggest that business group affiliation has a moderating effect on social capital, knowledge sharing and innovation relationships.
Date of Award27 Jun 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorMichael Mayer (Supervisor) & Phil Tomlinson (Supervisor)

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