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Managers' competences in social enterprises: which specificities?

Charlotte Moreau (Centre for Social Economy, HEC‐Management School of the University of Liège, Liège, Belgium)
Sybille Mertens (Centre for Social Economy, HEC‐Management School of the University of Liège, Liège, Belgium)

Social Enterprise Journal

ISSN: 1750-8614

Article publication date: 8 August 2013




The management of an organisation and the context within which this organisation evolves are recognised as two important aspects of any organisation. Few studies have been conducted however on the management function within the specific context of social enterprises, organisations that mix social goals and economic imperatives. This paper aims to examine the specific competences of management in social enterprises, by constructing a competence model, the emblematic tool of competence‐based management, relevant to the management of social enterprises.


The authors hypothesise that certain competences required of managers in social enterprises are specific, regarding the particular internal and external context of social enterprises, the governance model, etc. The methodology used is based on four main steps: a review of the literature and the conducting of exploratory interviews, the construction of a first draft of the competence model, the conducting of group interviews with managers of social enterprises in six European countries as this research takes place within the framework of a European research project on lifelong learning, and the final adaptation and validation of the competence model.


Seven main competences specific to the context of social enterprises emerge, each one being further developed as knowledge, skills, and competences.


The paper illustrates the interest in building up a competence model for the management of social enterprises.



Moreau, C. and Mertens, S. (2013), "Managers' competences in social enterprises: which specificities?", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 164-183.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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