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The role of entrepreneurial capital in building service reputation

Shaw, Eleanor and Lam, Wing and Carter, Sara (2008) The role of entrepreneurial capital in building service reputation. Services Industries Journal, 28 (7). pp. 899-917. ISSN 0264-2069

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This paper uses theories of capital to discuss the impact of non-financial capital on small service firm reputation and performance. As the success of service firms is predicated on the ability to develop relationships and build reputation with key stakeholders, theories of capital provide a relevant conceptual framework for exploring the use of non-financial capital in building such relationships. Drawing on findings from a qualitative study, this paper discusses the economic, human, social, and symbolic capital of a matched-pairs sample of male and female entrepreneurs in the business services sector. The results highlight a relationship between symbolic capital and service reputation. Specifically, the interplay between economic, human, and social capital generates the symbolic capital relevant for service reputation and firm performance.