Social capital (SC) is a comprehensive concept, which refers to benefits derived from social interaction. In organizations, SC can be divided into 3 levels: personal SC, which refers to the benefits the individual receives from personal social connections, inside and outside the organization; intraorganizational SC, which refers to the benefits derived from good relationships within organizational units, and the organization as a whole; and external SC, which refers to the profits derived from interfaces of role holders, such as the CEO, with stakeholders. Organizational SC and conflicts in an organization are ostensibly very different in nature, whereas SC is an intangible that fits the positive psychology domain; conflicts are usually unwanted occurrences in organizations. Scholars noted that conflicts affect employee’s SC and usually reduce it, but the opposite was hardly investigated. This chapter examines how and why the conversion of social relationships into capital can result in conflicts at all organizational SC levels. To do this, the interface between the levels of SC in organizations and types of conflicts was examined. In conclusion, developing “C-type” conflicts, which are desirable conflicts, and avoiding “A-type” conflicts, which are destructive conflicts, depend on a good match between the different organizational SC levels.
Part of the book: Organizational Conflict