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Bricolage in the marketing efforts of a social enterprise

Merie Joseph Kannampuzha (Jyvaskyla University School of Business and Economics, University of Jyvaskyla, Jyvaskyla, Finland)
Mari Suoranta (Jyvaskyla University School of Business and Economics, University of Jyvaskyla, Jyvaskyla, Finland)

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1471-5201

Article publication date: 17 October 2016




The paper aims to understand how resource constraints are addressed in the development of a marketing strategy by a social enterprise.


The authors have used an in-depth case study of collaboration between a Finnish university and an Indian social enterprise as the methodology for the research in which the data were collected over a period of two years. The data involve semi-structured interviews, field notes and student reports.


The authors propose bricolage as a method of marketing ingenuity in resource-constrained social enterprises. Network bricolage and entrepreneurship education bricolage were identified as two mechanisms adopted to address resource constraints in the early stage of the development of a social enterprise. Further studies need to be conducted to test the applicability of network bricolage among a variety of small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups. Bricolage could be explored in more detail as an alternative to resource leveraging to understand the marketing activities of social businesses in their initial stages.

Research limitations/implications

Network bricolage is a type of bricolage in which an entrepreneur utilizes existing personal and professional networks as a resource at hand. Although networking and resource leveraging imply that the founders of an organization pursue resources from previously unknown people, network bricolage involves already known contacts of the entrepreneur.

Practical implications

Another type of bricolage that observed by the authors was entrepreneurship education bricolage. A combination of students, business mentors and university resources such as faculty members was utilized as an ingenuity mechanism to develop creative solutions for a shortage of marketing resources.


The theoretical framework of entrepreneurial bricolage is applied in the context of the marketing of a social enterprise.



This paper evolved from a collaborative effort of researchers in India and Finland through the network of the Global Venture Lab. Throughout the duration of this research, the authors were involved in a research project funded by the Finnish Funding Agency of Technology and Innovation, TEKES. The authors would like to thank TEKES for funding and the research team at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, who helped them immensely during the project.


Kannampuzha, M.J. and Suoranta, M. (2016), "Bricolage in the marketing efforts of a social enterprise", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 176-196.



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