© 2022 Wiley Periodicals LLC.Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in uncertain emerging markets tend to pursue exploitation at the expense of exploration. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether social capital can alleviate this imbalance by supporting the firms' ambidexterity, and thus the performance of such firms. Using survey data from high-tech SMEs in Turkish technoparks, Phase 1 of the study tests a mainstream serial mediation model, where the social capital–performance relationship is mediated by information sharing and ambidexterity dimensions (exploration and exploitation). The results show that rather than merely forming structural social capital linkages, firms also need to develop relational social capital for higher ambidexterity and performance. Phase 2 of the study elaborates on these findings through interviews with 12 technopark firm managers regarding information sharing, collaborations, and innovative activities. The findings in this phase provide strong evidence that low generalized trust in the Turkish context plays an inhibiting role in the process from social capital to firm performance.