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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2018

Jamie Newth

The purpose of this paper is to advocate for greater use of ethnographic research methods in entrepreneurship studies to produce more contextualized research. An argument…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advocate for greater use of ethnographic research methods in entrepreneurship studies to produce more contextualized research. An argument for getting “up-close” and “hands-on” is presented to better understand how context shapes action in entrepreneurship than is presently achieved under the present entrepreneurship research orthodoxy. The need for contextualized research is particularly acute in the domain of social innovation. For its maturation as a field of research, it also requires stronger critical perspectives into the agendas and impacts of practitioners and other field-shaping actors. Ethnographic approaches are potentially powerful methods for revealing truths of this nature. Ethnographic methods are, however, problematic for professional researchers. The challenges of conducting such research are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

Conceptual paper regarding research methods in social innovation and social entrepreneurship studies.

Findings

Social entrepreneurship that happens within established organizations is a hybrid social innovation activity that is informed, constrained, and compelled by idiosyncratic social contexts which are fashioned by institutional logics, identities, organizational culture, and history. With its contestable conceptualizations, priorities, models, purposes, and approaches, it arguably defies researchers’ ability to build a deep understanding, from arm’s length, of how the activity is undertaken for theory building purposes. Ethnographic methods enable deeper insight than traditional entrepreneurship research methods, and this research illustrates the differences between the espoused intentions, beliefs, and attitudes of managers and the lived experience of staff.

Originality/value

Social entrepreneurship is a micro-level, hybrid social innovation activity that challenges embedded social, structural, and cultural norms when undertaken within established organizations. Ethnographic methods are under-utilized in exploring this and other forms of entrepreneurial action. This paper illustrates the value of ethnography for contextualizing social innovation research and that eschewing “arm’s length” objectivity for “hands-on” insight is a powerful approach to empirically contextualizing social innovation and contributing to more critical perspectives and sophisticated theory building.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 August 2021

Billie Lythberg, Jamie Newth and Christine Woods

The purpose of this paper is to explore how a complexity informed understanding of Indigenous–settler relationships helps people to better understand Indigenous social…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how a complexity informed understanding of Indigenous–settler relationships helps people to better understand Indigenous social innovation. To do this, this paper uses the attractor concept from complexity thinking to explore both the history and possible futures of Indigenous Maori social innovation as shaped by Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper frames Te Tiriti as a structural attractor for social innovation in Aotearoa-New Zealand and explores the dynamics at play in the social and economic activities related to Te Tiriti and the ongoing settlement process in Aotearoa-New Zealand. This paper outlines this as an illustrative case study detailing the relevant contextual spaces and dynamics that interact and the emergence of social innovation.

Findings

This paper suggests that the convergent, divergent and unifying dynamics present in a structural attractor provide a useful framework for building ongoing engagement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people whereby Indigenous worldviews are given space to be articulated and valued.

Originality/value

In spite of the increase in research into social innovation, including in Indigenous contexts, the “context” of “postcolonial” context remains under-theorised and people’s understanding of the power dynamics at play here limits the understanding of how the mechanisms of Indigenous–settler partnerships structure social innovation and its impact.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 14 November 2017

Jamie Newth, Deborah Shepherd and Christine Woods

World Vision exists to eradicate extreme poverty. The primary fundraising mechanism that has fuelled its growth into one of the largest international non-governmental…

Abstract

World Vision exists to eradicate extreme poverty. The primary fundraising mechanism that has fuelled its growth into one of the largest international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) has been Child Sponsorship, which connects over 10 million individual donors with vulnerable children around the world. However, shifts in the market, geopolitical landscape, and institutional logics have seen this once innovative product come under increasing pressure. Using World Vision New Zealand (WVNZ) as a case study, we explore the challenges of implementing social entrepreneurship strategies, including the institutional constraints of developing new business models, through hybridization. Hybridity has gained increasing attention in the field of entrepreneurship and has been offered as a sense-making frame for business model innovation within social entrepreneurship. The use of institutional logics to understand the challenges of hybrid organizing in social entrepreneurship has been invaluable. However, as with any theoretical perspective, this approach has limitations. We suggest that nuanced challenges and sources of resistance to social entrepreneurship in established sectors and organizations might usefully be explored through concepts drawn from complexity theory. Specifically, we propose the use of the concept of structural attractors, which enables the explication of convergent, unifying, and generative dynamics. Our case study findings suggest that, paradoxically, the very essence of historical success may constrain future success. To wit, when faced with changes to institutional and market conditions, WVNZ was constrained by the very construct that enabled its initial growth. The challenge that this case demonstrates is that despite ostensibly hybrid shifts occurring in the management, governance, and espoused innovation strategy of the organization, the governing structural attractor of Child Sponsorship has constrained innovation and change.

Details

Hybrid Ventures
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-078-5

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 14 November 2017

Abstract

Details

Hybrid Ventures
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-078-5

Article
Publication date: 12 March 2019

Jason Paul Mika, Graham Hingangaroa Smith, Annemarie Gillies and Fiona Wiremu

This paper aims to examine indigenous governance and economies of iwi Maori (Maori tribes) in Aotearoa New Zealand. Research into persisting inequities amongst iwi that…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine indigenous governance and economies of iwi Maori (Maori tribes) in Aotearoa New Zealand. Research into persisting inequities amongst iwi that have settled treaty claims and the potential for intervention through new governance models and indigenous entrepreneurship contextualise the paper.

Design/methodology/approach

Kaupapa Maori (Maori philosophy) is used as an indigenous methodology to facilitate and empower transformative change, underpinned by Maori knowledge, language and culture. A multi-level approach is used to collect data from international, national and local tribal organisations. Validity is established through stakeholder engagement.

Findings

A central challenge in the post-treaty settlement context is exponentialising tribal capabilities because of the multiple purposes ascribed to post-settled iwi. Four themes, characterised as “unfolding tensions”, offer a critique and basis for solving tribal development challenges: how do tribes create culturally grounded global citizens; how do tribes rebalance wealth creation and wealth distribution; how do tribes recalibrate tribal institutions; and how do tribes embed entrepreneurship and innovation within their economies?

Research limitations/implications

As data collection is still underway, the paper is conceptual.

Practical implications

Five strategies to address unfolding tensions are identified for tribes to consider.

Social implications

Tribal governors and tribal members are implicated in the analysis, as well as the architects of post-treaty settlement governance models.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to theorising about tribal governance, economies and entrepreneurship.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

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