Previous research has indicated that social capital and social effectiveness may have positive influences on entrepreneurial venture success. While the concept of social capital has been a popular topic in research fields, including both social science and economics, few empirical studies have considered the effect of both social capital and social effectiveness in conjunction with the success of ventures created by entrepreneurs. The Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) is a worldwide organization created in 1950 to provide education and support for executives who found themselves in leadership positions with few peers. Today that organization has grown to over 18,000 members. This study surveyed the members of YPO and examined their social capital structure and their social effectiveness utilizing the Political Skills Inventory instrument, and compared both variables with various levels of success metrics. The research first looked at demographic characteristics of these entrepreneurs and compared them to components of success. Next it examined the various components of the founders' social capital for strength, mix, and density and any correlations with the metrics of success. Then it administered the Political Skills Inventory to determine the respondents' social effectiveness, which was then analyzed for correlations with success metrics. Finally, the research compared demographics, respondents' social capital, and their social effectiveness with the success metrics to seek out any statistically significant correlations. This study does provide some additional empirical support for the idea that social effectiveness can help further an entrepreneur's success in his/her business venture. The statistical results indicated that higher levels of social effectiveness in 2 core components (social astuteness and interpersonal influence) are positively correlated to venture success. And even though no correlations were found between social capital, social effectiveness, and venture success, previous literature and common sense would indicate that they may still exist.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Social capital (Sociology); Young Presidents' Organization (U.S.); Organizational effectiveness

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Madjidi, Farzin;