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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: Employability and Social Capital: An Exploration of the Missing Link in the Enhancement of Employability of Business School Graduates
Author(s): Hill, Sandra JM
Supervisor(s): Catts, Ralph
Keywords: Employability
Social Capital
Business Graduates
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: This study explores the role of social capital in the development of employability skills and attributes of first generation undergraduate students in a business school. The research, based on the reflections of graduates, examines the impact of social capital on participation in higher education and investigates the conditions within the learning environment which enhance or inhibit the development of bridging and linking social capital, as students connect with networks within the institution and with the wider business community. The findings suggest that the ability to recognise and activate bridging and linking social capital is an important determinant of employability. The analysis illustrates that when students have opportunities to connect with and work within a variety of networks, they build a range of employability skills and capabilities, particularly the interpersonal and social skills valued by employers. Students, who are confident and have the necessary skills to participate in a variety of networks within the immediate environment and with the wider business community, are not only able to access a greater range of resources but are more able to recognise the potential benefits that these activities have to offer. The reflections of the participants also illustrate that the skills and competencies which enable them to network effectively need to be developed deliberately. By supporting students in recognising the relationship between bridging and linking social capital and employability, and giving them the opportunity to reflect upon the achievement of interpersonal skills and affective capabilities, including the importance of relating to diverse others, their understanding and acknowledgement of employability will be enhanced. The study also reflects on Quinn’s concept of imagined social capital and considers its impact on the development of employability. Building on her work, the analysis identifies two new typologies; unimagined and unimaginable social capital. Both categories are important in understanding how students acknowledge the potential networks and resources available to them.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Education

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