Abstract: The aim of this empirical study is to investigate what pioneering firms are doing to measure their relational and social capital as well as guanxi in the context of the Knowledge-based Economy. With this purpose, the paper is structured into three main sections. First, it articulates a conceptual framework for the analysis of relational and social capital (“Western approach”). Second, it introduces an approach towards the study of the Chinese concept of “guanxi ” or social connections in business and its major benefits and risks as well as implications for management (“Eastern approach”). Third, the paper analyzes intellectual capital reports from leading firms located in India and Europe during the period 1994-2001. Its focus is the most relevant relational and social capital indicators used in these reports as well as guanxi indicators utilized by a pioneering group of firms that a few years ago started to measure intelletual capital. Finally, we present major conclusions and managerial implications derived from this study which contribute to understand better Chinese and European national and organizational cultures.
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