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Governance and indigenous social entrepreneurship: when context counts

Joanna Overall (Management and International Business, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Paul Tapsell (Te Tumu School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand James Henare Māori Research Centre, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Christine Woods (Management and International Business, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)

Social Enterprise Journal

ISSN: 1750-8614

Article publication date: 17 August 2010



The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the importance of taking into account contextual factors when building governing mechanisms, so that the subsequent processes and structures are appropriate and sustainable.


The paper utilises the singular case study illustration of Māori Maps, an indigenous social and entrepreneurial venture to illustrate the notion of contextualised governance. Considering this focus centres on notions of context, the case study method is most appropriate as it allows for a fuller explanation of the specific contextual factors relating to the study.


In taking into account the unique contextual factors relating to Māori Maps, the paper shows that they have incorporated culturally appropriate models and processes of governance.

Research limitations/implications

This context‐specific case study illustration supports new governance research avenues that assert that context matters, and contributes to the body of evidence that suggests that traditional frameworks of governance cannot be applied to all organisations, with no regard being taken for varying contextual factors.

Practical implications

This case study illustration may encourage other groups in similar scenarios (but with varying contextual surroundings) to develop their own innovative models of governance which suit their surroundings.


The authors have utilised the Māori Maps case study previously in the context of innovation and entrepreneurship studies. The insights drawn from studying the intersection between governance theory and social entrepreneurship in this context are new.



Overall, J., Tapsell, P. and Woods, C. (2010), "Governance and indigenous social entrepreneurship: when context counts", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 146-161.



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