The Contribution of Social Capital into the Activities of Real Estate Companies in Vietnam

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The study aims at exploring the structure of social capital and the activities of real estate companies in Vietnam. It also analyzes the contribution of social capital in the activities of real estate companies, which suggest policies to help real estate companies use social capital to improve performance, and assist the Government restrict the forms of negative social cohesion and help companies develop forms of positive social cohesion.

The research was conducted in two stages. The first stage, in-dept interviews were used to build the scale and theoretical models. The second stage, a sample of 262 real estate companies in Ho Chi Minh city of Vietnam was surveyed to test the theoretical model. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data.

The research results have shown that social capital contributes to all the activities of real estate companies. It suggests policies to improve the performance of the company through the use of social capital, and the macroeconomic policies to restrict the formation of negative social cohesion, and support companies to develop the forms of positive social cohesion.

The research has limitations on the scope of scale testing and theoretical models, the sample size is not large, the environmental legal framework is incomplete, research time is in the context of an inflation economy (2010 and 2011).

The research results suggested that real estate companies should be concerned and take more time for establishing relationships with internal, external and leaders of business networks to serve business activities. Also the Government should issue policies to regulate social capital on the real estate market in a positive way. Moreover, the findings also suggested the Association of real estate in Vietnam should create values from the social network to serves the interests of the participants.

This study is the first of its kind in Vietnam, which explores the relationship between social capital with the business activities of the real estate companies in Vietnam.

INTRODUCTION

According to the General Statistics Office (2010), real estate is one of the industries of high growth in the economy of Vietnam, but the number of small and medium enterprises account for 88%. This implies that real estate companies in Vietnam lack financial capital while tools for its funding are limited. Therefore, it depends very much on the credit markets. In the context of Vietnam's economy facing inflation from 2009 to 2011, the Government has issued many policies tightening funding channels from customers (Anh, 2010). Meanwhile, the capital mobilization channel in the form of links among market participants has not been paid attention by the Government of Vietnam.

On the other hand, the behavior of real estate companies is driven more by personal relationships between their leaders and government officials concerning access to land. Therefore, understanding of those companies about the role of relationship is distorted. As a result, they have not exploited the relationships optimally and efficiently to serve their business operations.

In this context, current theories of social capital cannot solve the practical problems of establishing a policy framework which helps real estate companies and the Government recognize and measure resources existing in the relations of the company, as well as point out the contribution of social capital into activities of the real estate companies. By doing so, it helps companies identify and plan programs to develop social capital to serve the business activities. Therefore, the objective of this research is to develop a theoretical framework and test the relationship between social capital and the operation of real estate companies in Vietnam. The research findings suggest policies to improve their performance through the efficient use of social capital.

LITERATURE REVIEW AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Theories about social capital

Social capital is an intangible resource that exists in relationships. …