Relational Capital in Universities: The “Ipazia” Observatory on Gender Issues

Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics book series (SPBE)


The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to carry out a literature review in order to know whether and to what extent the studies conducted so far have addressed relational capital in universities and, then, to provide a new framework for good practice that combines research, education, external universities (third mission) and internal relations. Our investigation aims to answer the following RQ: “How is relational capital formed in universities? How is it managed?” From a methodological point of view, we start with a literature review on relational capital and then we develop a case study. As far as the literature review is concerned, a search on Scopus was conducted, using a set of selected keywords, because it guarantees a high quality for publications. Selected papers have been analysed in an attempt to identify the main issues. The case study is a research strategy particularly suitable for an in-depth examination of current real-life events. The case chosen focuses on the foundation and development of the scientific observatory on gender issues entitled “Ipazia”. All relationships built in order to merge research, teaching and third mission within universities will be analysed and discussed. The analysed case study allows us to investigate whether and how the use of relational capital enables universities to combine research, education and third mission. Meanwhile, our research highlights how “Ipazia” can be seen as an activator of relationships for gender studies. Our research project aims to extend the analysis of relational capital in universities. This project could allow us to gain a greater understanding of a relevant subject, especially for those, scholars or politicians, who are involved in developing, managing and measuring relational capital in universities. Finally, this paper contributes to the expansion of the literature on gender studies, and for this reason, it offers a new perspective applied to a topic of high relevance such as relational capital in universities.


Relational capital Gender studies Entrepreneurial university 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of UNISU, Faculty of EconomicsNiccolò Cusano UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Business StudiesUniversity of Rome TRERomeItaly

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