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Building Virtual Bridges: How rural micro-enterprises develop social capital in online and face-to-face settings

Building Virtual Bridges: How rural micro-enterprises develop social capital in online and face-to-face settings
Building Virtual Bridges: How rural micro-enterprises develop social capital in online and face-to-face settings

In rural UK, businesses are often isolated and have much to gain from healthy networks, yet studies show that many rural business owners fail to network effectively. Information communications technologies offer new ways to network that might benefit rural businesses by expanding their reach. This study looked at online and face-to-face networking behaviour among rural micro-enterprises in Scotland in relation to the development of bonding and bridging social capital. Given the challenges of remoteness faced by many rural businesses, online networking is particularly useful in developing bridging capital, but is an unsuitable context for building the trust needed to gain tangible benefits. The article therefore highlights the importance of face-to-face interactions in developing trust and bonding social capital. Rural business owners face distinctive challenges with respect to online communications, which are explored in this article.

0038-0199
29-47
Townsend, Leanne
8a18f987-33f5-41e6-9471-713627d5b360
Wallace, Claire
b318dab7-d602-482c-a640-4f6156ba1681
Smart, Alison
1d0f3f5d-e3f7-4aaf-ae1e-072e50e5b616
Norman, Timothy
663e522f-807c-4569-9201-dc141c8eb50d
Townsend, Leanne
8a18f987-33f5-41e6-9471-713627d5b360
Wallace, Claire
b318dab7-d602-482c-a640-4f6156ba1681
Smart, Alison
1d0f3f5d-e3f7-4aaf-ae1e-072e50e5b616
Norman, Timothy
663e522f-807c-4569-9201-dc141c8eb50d

Townsend, Leanne, Wallace, Claire, Smart, Alison and Norman, Timothy (2016) Building Virtual Bridges: How rural micro-enterprises develop social capital in online and face-to-face settings. Sociologia Ruralis, 56 (1), 29-47. (doi:10.1111/soru.12068).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In rural UK, businesses are often isolated and have much to gain from healthy networks, yet studies show that many rural business owners fail to network effectively. Information communications technologies offer new ways to network that might benefit rural businesses by expanding their reach. This study looked at online and face-to-face networking behaviour among rural micro-enterprises in Scotland in relation to the development of bonding and bridging social capital. Given the challenges of remoteness faced by many rural businesses, online networking is particularly useful in developing bridging capital, but is an unsuitable context for building the trust needed to gain tangible benefits. The article therefore highlights the importance of face-to-face interactions in developing trust and bonding social capital. Rural business owners face distinctive challenges with respect to online communications, which are explored in this article.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 20 November 2014
Published date: 1 January 2016
Additional Information: Publisher Copyright: © 2014 The Authors. Sociologia Ruralis published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Society for Rural Sociology. Copyright: Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 450302
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/450302
ISSN: 0038-0199
PURE UUID: b9dfa7bd-556f-4c32-9c66-12f653e70878
ORCID for Timothy Norman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6387-4034

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Jul 2021 16:31
Last modified: 22 Jul 2021 01:46

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Contributors

Author: Leanne Townsend
Author: Claire Wallace
Author: Alison Smart
Author: Timothy Norman ORCID iD

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