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Angels on the head of a pin: The SAC framework for performance measurement in social entrepreneurship ventures

Michelle D. Lane (Management Department, Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, USA)
Maureen Casile (Management Department, SUNY Institute of Technology, Utica, New York, USA)

Social Enterprise Journal

ISSN: 1750-8614

Article publication date: 15 November 2011



By proposing a comprehensive measurement framework, this paper attempts to move the nascent body of theoretical and empirical work on performance measurement in social entrepreneurship ventures (SEVs) into reach for practitioners. The purpose of this paper is to help social entrepreneurs and academics put current knowledge to work to gain usable feedback about the success of operations.


This paper offers a framework for measuring firm survival, social action, and social change in SEVs based on a review of theoretical and empirical work.


Early work in SEV performance measurement shows consensus that social impact is at least as important as organizational viability, albeit more difficult to measure. The SEV measurement framework developed herein creates the link between firm viability (Survival), direct social action (Action), and long‐term social impact on the technical, political, and cultural aspects of society (Change) leading to the SAC framework.


The framework proposed in the paper gives practitioners a guide for comprehensive performance measurement based on their unique organizational mission using the SAC model. Widespread use of a measurement tool that addresses viability, action, and impact, may ultimately improve the efficiency with which SEVs attack social problems.



Lane, M.D. and Casile, M. (2011), "Angels on the head of a pin: The SAC framework for performance measurement in social entrepreneurship ventures", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 238-258.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited