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Relational capital is one of the three primary components of intellectual capital, and is the value inherent in a company's relationships with its customers, vendors, and other important constituencies.
Relational capital is defined as all relationships - market relationships, power relationships and cooperation - established between firms, institutions and people, which stem from a strong sense of belonging and a highly developed capacity of cooperation typical of culturally similar people and institutions. There are major conceptual differences between industrial and regional economists in their views towards relational capital. There have been research studies applying quantitative, empirical, and econometric techniques in an effort to verify the existence of relational capital and its importance to the innovation activity in firms. Proxies are found to represent the channels through which knowledge develops at the local level and therefore indirectly of relational capital.
- Capello, Roberta; Alessandra Faggian (2005), "Collective learning and relational capital in local innovation processes", Regional studies 39 (1): 75–87