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Mitigating challenges of small social enterprises to improve performance

Behnam Abedin (School of Information Systems, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Heather Douglas (Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia)
Jason Watson (School of Information Systems, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Reihaneh Bidar (School of Information Systems, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 28 June 2021

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023

395

Abstract

Purpose

Small social enterprises (SEs) face many challenges as they seek to secure their survival, sustainability and performance, but little is known about the interrelations among these challenges and how these SEs might mitigate their challenges by using online platforms.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the results of 19 in-depth semi-structured interviews with founders of small SEs in Australia, the authors present two integrative frameworks: one demonstrates how different challenges directly or indirectly influence SE performance, and the other represents the linkage between online platforms use and SE performance.

Findings

The authors’ findings indicate that SEs face social, economic and organizational challenges, and that SEs use online platforms to mitigate these challenges and improve their performance. Online platforms enable these enterprises to identify funding opportunities, recruit staff and volunteers, connect with other SEs, form partnerships, promote their organization, market their products and services, and avoid competition and duplication in their ecosystem.

Research limitations/implications

The authors provide a guiding model for further research on using online platforms to mitigate challenges for small enterprises to improve performance. This study advances current understanding of why some SEs fail to thrive, while others survive, flourish and grow.

Originality/value

The authors’ study advances the resource-based view by identifying how online platforms offer a valuable resource to improve SE performance, and assist managers to maintain the strategic direction of their enterprise.

Keywords

Citation

Abedin, B., Douglas, H., Watson, J. and Bidar, R. (2023), "Mitigating challenges of small social enterprises to improve performance", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 72 No. 1, pp. 226-245. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-10-2020-0567

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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