The following comes from ‘Lessons for Education: Creating a Learning System’ (Hargreaves, 2000). It talks about social capital and the role it might play in innovations in higher education.

In particular, I believe it has connections with the work on Webfuse and my thesis/ISDT (Jones and Gregor, 2006). Evidence for this is the following quote from a CQU staff member.

my positive experience with other Infocom systems gives me confidence that OASIS would be no different. The systems team have a very good track record that inspires confidence

To me it demonstrates that the design theory behind Webfuse and how it was implemented encourages the generation of social capital for the support team. This better enables it to do its job.

Potentially, this has connections with the aim of groups seeking to support academics achieve their goals, particularly around learning and teaching.

Social capital has been a growing concept over recent years. It can be defined as having two aspects

  1. Social – connections to other persons or organisations. High social capital implies you are embedded in networks
  2. Cultural – norms of reciprocity, mutual obligation and trust between people or groups

Trust plays a large part in increasing both these aspects. Trust encourages co-operation which encourages sharing and exchange of knowledge capital.

High levels of social capital within and between organisations thus supports
the kinds of exchange that characterise the process of knowledge creation
as described in the Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) model or the
transactions of knowledge transfer by people and organisations in networks.

Recent studies indicate that, as the above conceptual scheme would
suggest, high levels of social capital in companies are associated with high
levels of performance and successful innovation. This is argued at the theoretical
and anecdotal level, as well as the empirical level, and for social
capital operationalised and measured as trust or as networking (Burt, 1992;
Sako, 1992; Fukuyama, 1995; Kramer and Tyler, 1996; Shaw, 1997; Pennings,
Lee and van Witteloostuijn, 1998; Tsai and Ghoshal, 1998; Fountain, 1998).

There’s a web page that talks briefly about one approach to measuring social capital in a community.


David Hargreaves (2000). Lessons for Education: Creating a Learning System. Knowledge Management in the Learning Society. Paris, France, Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, OECD: 66-96

David Jones, Shirley Gregor, The formulation of an ISDT for e-learning, Paper presented at the 1st International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology