The Value of “We”

Building relational capital in large firms
Conference paper


Particularly in times of crisis, economic downturn, and increasing uncertainty, relational capital becomes of vital importance for large firms. Defined as collective goal orientation and shared trust, it is the basic foundation for creating value across units by leveraging know-how, promoting product innovations, and ultimately realizing efficiency synergies. In times of economic downturn, firms often resort to personnel reductions, restructuring, the integration of units, off-shoring, as well as outsourcing to optimize their cost base. What is disregarded, however, is that such measures have a substantial impact on relational capital. In fact, they often destroy it. Particularly in times of crisis, firms are well-advised to consider how their strategic decisions impact the firm’s relational capital and to make efforts to systematically (re-)build and maintain it.


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