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Corporate governance practices and outcomes in social enterprises in the UK: A case study of South Yorkshire

Walter Mswaka (Business School, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, United Kingdom)
Olu Aluko (University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, United Kingdom)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 12 January 2015




The purpose of this paper is to explore the growth of social enterprise in the UK in the context of the renewed interest in the creative use of organisations with a social mission to complement public service delivery. Given the impact of globalisation and increased demands for effective social welfare interventions, this paper specifically focuses on the nature and type of social enterprise governance models and how they influence their outcomes.


The study utilises a mixed method approach involving the complementary use of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods.


The paper finds that the way in which the social enterprise governance structure is designed ultimately influences its outcomes. In particular, those with stewardship governance models tend to perform better than those with democratic models of governance. This leads to a conclusion that in the social context of the UK, social enterprise should aim for a paradigm shift in the design and selection of governance models.

Research limitations/implications

Comparative regional experiences in other regions or social contexts could enrich our understanding of whether these results are applicable across the board.

Practical implications

This paper is of potential benefit to researchers and particularly those designing policies for the governance of social enterprise.


The study employs innovative analytical theoretical lenses not normally associated with the social economy, namely agency, stewardship and resource dependency theories to provide a more in-depth analysis of the governance of contemporary social enterprise.



Mswaka, W. and Aluko, O. (2015), "Corporate governance practices and outcomes in social enterprises in the UK: A case study of South Yorkshire", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 57-71.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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