Human capital, social capital, and firm dissolution

Johannes M. Pennings, Kyungmook Lee, Arjen Van Witteloostuijn

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study examined the effect of human and social capital upon firm dissolution with data from a population of Dutch accounting firms for the period 1880-1990. Human capital was captured by firm-level proxies for firm tenure, industry experience, and graduate education. The social capital proxy was professionals' ties to potential clients. Human and social capital strongly predicted firm dissolution, and effects depended on their specificity (uniqueness) and nonappropriability (the ownership status of that capital). Findings suggest an integration of the resource-based view of the firm and organizational ecology and a concomitant stimulant for future research along these lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-440
Number of pages16
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


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