Findings of this study revealed that there was a relatively good status in terms of social capital, entrepreneurial behavior and job performance among study participants. Regarding social capital, findings were in line with Ghanbari and Navidi and Abili and Zare-Khalili studies [19, 21]. Also, the moderate to high status of job performance among faculty members was in agreement with findings obtained from Nasiri and Azarnosh et al. study [22, 23].
Results regarding the investigation of relationship between social capital, entrepreneurial behavior and job performance among study participants revealed a significant relationship between these variables, with the moderating role of entrepreneurial behavior. These findings are consistent with Karimi et al. study, which affirmed the mediating role of entrepreneurial behavior in the relationship between social capital and job performance .
In addition, our research confirmed a direct and significant relationship between social capital and job performance; so that strengthening social capital in the workplace increased job performance among university faculty members. This result was also confirmed by findings of several studies [19, 25–27]. The importance of examining such a relationship between these variables in an organizational environment is related to the fact that each organization is looking for effective and efficient strategies to achieve determined goals and enhance the level of job performance among their members . According to various researches, one of the most effective factors in job performance is social capital in the workplace, which enhances job performance through the reciprocal recognition and trust among members and effective sharing of information, knowledge and work experiences . Due to the importance of social capital and its impact on educational system of a society, our study results confirmed that constructive communication among university faculty members acts as an effective factor in enhancing the quality of education as well as promotion of occupational activities . Literature affirmed the importance of social capital as an influencing factor on personnel job performance with its significant dimensions including trust, commitment, and mutual interactions [19, 22, 31, 32]. Nahapiet and Ghoshal explained that trust among organizational members occurs when individuals accept common norms and values of an organization and act upon them. Following common norms and objectives is the basis for improvement in job performance as well as employees’ motivation to work more committed toward organizational goals. In other words, it can be concluded that employees who perceive an appropriate level of social capital in their workplace behave more positively in interactions with their colleagues. As a result of these effective interactions, employees feel satisfied with their work and experience higher degree of commitment toward their career goals .
On the other hand, study results affirmed a significant direct relationship between social capital and entrepreneurial behavior among faculty members, which had been confirmed in similar researches [33–36]. In fact, effective communication provides opportunities for knowledge and experience sharing among organizational members which leads to a cooperative-like competition . In fact, an organization with a high level of social capital is able to foster new ideas and strengthen creativity through an effective transferring of knowledge. This creativity eventually leads to innovation and entrepreneurship in an organization. Therefore, a firm which has a desirable level of social capital can potentially be regarded as an entrepreneurial organization .
Findings about the direct impact of entrepreneurship on job performance are consistent with studies which confirm a significant relationship between entrepreneurial characteristics and job performance [20, 39]. This result suggests that the more entrepreneurial orientation among organizational members can lead to higher levels of job performance. In fact, change in employees’ behavior toward entrepreneurial culture could significantly predict the level of job performance; meaning that the more employees have higher risk-taking, and innovative behavior, the more they will be expected to have higher levels of job performance . In other words, entrepreneurial orientation is associated with some of the characteristics including innovation, risk-taking, and revolutionary change. Thus, in order to realize these features at different organizational levels, managers should motivate employees to strengthen their entrepreneurial spirit and consequently achieve high levels of performance.