May 13, 20121.0 Social capitalSocial capital is commonly studied in relation to the contribution it makes towards the achievement of sustainable development of the community. In most cases social capital is commonly viewed in respect to two perspectives which when integrated together will offer a widely accepted definition of social capital. One of the most common definitions of social capital is the aspects of social organizations such as an organizations norms, organizational trust as well as networks that may develop the competence of the society by the facilitation of coordinated actions.
Another commonly accepted definition of social capital is the rules, customs trust, as well as obligations that are entrenched in most social relations, communal structures and communal institutions planning which allows the society members to attain their individuals objectives which when combined leads to the achievement of the community objectives. Also according to the institute of economic growth social capital is termed as the networks and the shared norms, understanding and values that enable better cooperation between and among group’s members (OECD, 2001). The available literature has a greater level of agreement of what does social capital do than what it is.
It is widely accepted that in essence social capital assists communally helpful collective action. For a number of years the concept has been put forth as a major unifying factor embodying multiple disciplinary views. Social capital is greatly inspired by various works such as that of James Coleman as well as Robert Putnam. The two and other famous writers in diverse fields have offered various definitions of the concept and they have also identified conceptually sound as well as practical useful bounds of social capital (Grootaert, 1997, Portes, 1998, Woolcock, 1998, Narayan, 1999, Serageldin and Grootaert, 2000, Woolcock and Narayan, 2000). 2.0 Methodologies for measuring social capitalSince the development of the term social, there has been the development of various innovative ways of measuring the concept, though due to various reasons the attainment of an accurate measure is not actually possible.
One of the major reasons is because due to the various definitions of the concept, the concept seems to the multidimensional has over time incorporated various levels as well as units of analysis.
The other reason is the fact that though many attempts have been made to measure some properties that are basically associated with the inherently ambiguous ideas for example the organization, community as well as the network have all proved to be problematic (Putnam, 1995). The last reason is the fact that a small number of surveys have initially been carried out to measure the concept of social capital; this left the current researchers to come up with indexes form various approximated aspects. The concepts that were mainly approximated included the people trust in the government; the country’s voting trend, number of hours spent volunteering, and the citizen’s membership of some civic organizations.
Thus with the above stated reasons, the aspect of measuring social capital mat at times seem difficult. With the various definition of social capital the methods used to measure social capital varies. Though there has been the development of certain measures to measure social capital. These measures are broadly grouped into three categories which include: quantitative measurements and the qualitative measurements.