chapter  6
Good Networks and Good Jobs: The Value of Social Capital to Employers and Employees
ByBonnie H. Erickson
Pages 32

Like other chapters in this volume, this paper defines social capital in the widest sense as the useful aspects of social networks. This general definition must be specified, however, since social networks have many aspects whose usefulness varies depending on the kind of outcome and the kind of context we are interested in (Erickson 2000). I argue that network variety, or the number of different kinds of people that someone knows, is a form of social capital valuable to both employers and employees in the hiring process. Network variety is social “capital” in the same sense that education and work experience are human “capital”: all these forms of capital yield returns in the form of greater employee productivity.