When parents choose to start up a school: A social-capital perspective on educational entrepreneurship

Ori Eyal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose - By exploring the unique networks of parents, this paper attempts to shed light on the assumptions of social capital theory, showing the advantages of combining bonding and bridging social capital for educational entrepreneurship. Design/methodology/approach - This paper focuses on a group of Israeli parents who founded a new school. Data collection and analysis were based on the grounded theory perspective. In total, 20 in-depth interviews were conducted. Triangulation was achieved by studying the phenomenon from different perspectives: those of the founders, school employees, and people who supported the founding of the school. The data were analyzed using categorization techniques. Findings - The paper finds that bonding and bridging social capital complemented each other. Whereas the former was employed to take advantage of existing opportunities in the community, the latter was used to explore new opportunities that would otherwise not be available. Moreover, it was found that both strong and weak ties may be used by parents to obtain scarce resources. The study shows that parents with cultural capital know the "rules of the game" and can therefore take advantage of network opportunities to ensure the school's survival. Originality/value - This paper reframes parental involvement, using social capital as a theoretical perspective. From this perspective, it uncovers the deeper aspects of the network dynamics and unique circumstances created when bonding and bridging social capital are combined.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)99-118
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Educational Administration
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Education
  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Israel
  • Parents
  • Schools
  • Social capital


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