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Business practices in social enterprises

Mike Bull (Research Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School)
Helen Crompton (Centre for Enterprise)

Social Enterprise Journal

ISSN: 1750-8614

Article publication date: 1 March 2006

4345

Abstract

Purpose

To report the findings of a European Social Fund (ESF) financed study into the investigation and development of business practices and managerial skills in the social enterprises sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The qualitative and grounded research investigation was conducted using interviews with owner/managers of 15 social enterprises in Greater Manchester and Lancashire, UK, and aimed to develop a strategic understanding of social enterprise business practices and issues and to develop baseline information to develop a management tool based on the balanced scorecard (BS) of Kaplan and Norton (1996). Develops a definition of social enterprise and presents a brief background of the post‐war development of the social enterprises sector, its recent growth and increasing competition for resources.

Findings

The results indicated that social enterprises adopt varying practices, face many issues and, while many are beginning to make themselves more accountable in terms of their social value, there was little evidence to suggest that social enterprises were measuring their social impact beyond providing data that was sought by funders. Reveals that the social enterprise managers implied that the next step was to become more proactive in recording and marketing their social values and that developing social value indicators is the next challenge, while evidence suggests that tools developed for social enterprises need to be informal, non‐generic and based on experiential learning.

Originality/value

Reveals key concepts that will form the framework for a modified BS.

Keywords

Citation

Bull, M. and Crompton, H. (2006), "Business practices in social enterprises", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 42-60. https://doi.org/10.1108/17508610680000712

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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