Creative social entrepreneurs, social capital, and collaborative governance : a Saskatoon based analysis
Webb, Graeme Michael
This thesis investigates the hypothesis that creative social entrepreneurs facilitate collaborative governance in the Saskatoon city-region by being the primary creators of social capital. Governance, both its quality and form, is essential in facilitating social, cultural, and economic development at the city-region level. Collaborative governance is a form of governance that enables a community to mobilize all of its assets (individuals, associations, and institutions) in all sectors of society (industry, government, and civil society) to address issues of need and to create new growth. The quality of governance at the city-region level is directly influenced by the level of social capital in the city-region. It is widely acknowledged that members of Richard Florida’s “creative class” drive Promethean-like economic development. However, the creative class is not monolithic; members of the creative class can choose to be involved in society in many different ways. The benefits that members of the creative class can have on a society when they act socially have been largely ignored in the literature. Creative social entrepreneurs— characterized by their creativity, horizontal hypermobility, preference for involvement in participatory activities, and desire for quasi-anonymity (weak ties)—facilitate the governance of society by creating social capital (societal level social capital, associational level social capital, and individual level social capital). The thesis presents and analyses the output from a survey of 30 creative social entrepreneurs from government, business, civil society, and the university in the Saskatoon city-region. This survey was used to measure the level of creativity (professional and informal creativity) and entrepreneurial capacity of the participants, as well as map their social networks. Using social networks analysis (SNA) three measures of centrality (closeness centrality, betweens centrality, and eigenvector centrality) were used to examine the impact that creative social entrepreneurs play in social capital creation. The results from this analysis did not explicitly support the hypothesis that creative social entrepreneurs play a key role in social capital creation and the facilitation of governance at the city-region level. However, there was a positive correlation between professional creativity and all three measures of centrality. Not all innovators impact social capital creation. However, those professional innovators that do act socially are positioned in community networks to be the primary creators of social capital.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeSmith, Richard; Pontikes, Ken; Walker, Keith D.
Copyright DateJuly 2009