To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

A framework for the governance of social enterprise

Chris Low (Department of Business Studies, Huddersfield University Business School, Huddersfield, UK)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 1 May 2006




This paper aims to assess the appropriateness of two contrasting models of governance to organisations within the social enterprise sector.


In order to achieve this aim the paper draws on theories of for‐profit governance, particularly the stewardship model, and theories of non‐profit governance, particularly the democratic model. Theoretical insights from these literatures are then combined with the emerging literature on social enterprise.


Two propositions result from this which posit that social enterprise, despite being located within the non‐profit sector, may be more likely to exhibit for‐profit forms of governance.

Practical implications

Practitioners within social enterprises, and those operating in advisory roles to the sector, could benefit from the argument advanced in the paper in that it offers a potential governance solution to the distinctive management challenges being faced by social enterprises.


The paper contributes a framework for examining governance within social enterprises, and offers a guide for future research into social enterprise governance.



Low, C. (2006), "A framework for the governance of social enterprise", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 33 No. 5/6, pp. 376-385.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited