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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2018

Mike Bull

The purpose of this paper is to review current conceptualisations of social enterprise and present a new theoretical model for social enterprise in the UK.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review current conceptualisations of social enterprise and present a new theoretical model for social enterprise in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper draws on the rise of social enterprise in the UK context. Social enterprise in the UK emerged around the 1980s, in both political consciousness and as an academic discipline. The paper explores organisational antecedents to develop a conceptual model that prioritises different legal forms of social enterprise in the UK regulatory framework.

Findings

In critiquing policy, practitioner and academic publications, as well as the theoretical models that operationalise social enterprise, there are two observations from the literature this paper examines: first, Theories to date have tended to conceptualise social enterprise as a single hybrid form, neglecting a consideration of the various legal identities, ownership and governance types; second, Theoretical models have tended to overlook the cultural, regional and political-economic histories within their conceptualisations.

Originality/value

The value and originality of this paper lies in offering a new paradigm in the conceptualisation of social enterprise in the UK. This is a new contribution to knowledge that strengthens an understanding of the field. This paper creates the space to broaden and appreciate ideologically and operationally different hybrid business types of social enterprises that include charitable, solidarity and entrepreneurial type social enterprises.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2020

Mike Bull and Geoff Whittam

In this paper the authors investigate precarious value creation in English football clubs. They examine strategic, economic, cultural and social capital to analyse the…

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper the authors investigate precarious value creation in English football clubs. They examine strategic, economic, cultural and social capital to analyse the orientations of legal owners of football clubs (entrepreneurs) and the implications for moral owners (the fans). Their research question is not if entrepreneurs create value – but whether the value created is productive or destructive.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design is a case study of the professional football industry, specifically 44 football clubs in the top two professional divisions in England, namely the English Premier League and the English Football League Championship. The authors’ methodology is secondary textual data. Their approach is to examine official club statements, triangulated with regional and national press reports, fan accounts and narratives from published artefacts; fan blogs and websites.

Findings

The “opening up” of the professional football industry in England to market forces in 1983 has subsequently attracted entrepreneurs that use football clubs as artefacts to pursue other business interests. Over-grazing on strategic and economic capital at the expense and exploitation of social and cultural capital exists. As entrepreneurial opportunities to exploit a football club's assets becomes more apparent, the unique relationship between club and fan is being strained. The authors observe detachment, disenchantment and protest.

Research limitations/implications

The data sought for this study design was necessarily in the public domain and therefore drawn from secondary sources. The scope was English football and the top two divisions, thus the findings are context specific to that region and level.

Practical implications

For policy, the authors call for a new government inquiry into football ownership in English football, re-examining heritage, purpose and value creation.

Social implications

Football fans are the majority stakeholder in the football industry but are under-represented in English football because of the private ownership of football clubs. Fans are, however, a barometer for how their owners are acting as custodians of their clubs and if the value created by entrepreneurs is productive or exploitative.

Originality/value

This paper has value in drawing attention to this unique and ignored industry from an entrepreneurship perspective, provoking a call for further research to explore this phenomenon. Sustainable value creation may be a useful framework for further research in this and other industries.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2019

Rory James Ridley-Duff and Michael Frederick Bull

This paper aims to re-evaluate social enterprise (SE) history to pinpoint a pluralist turn in communitarian philosophy during the 1970s, which has the potential to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to re-evaluate social enterprise (SE) history to pinpoint a pluralist turn in communitarian philosophy during the 1970s, which has the potential to transform labour and consumer rights in enterprise development.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a close examination of model rules created by founders of the FairShares Association (FSA), the authors find that the communitarian origins of SE are disturbingly obscured and hidden.

Findings

In studying FSA documents and building a timeline of the development of the FairShares Model (FSM), the authors found links between SE developments in the UK, continental Europe, Asia, North/South America and the development of solidarity cooperatives.

Research limitations/implications

The authors argue that the discovery of a communitarian pluralist turn advances “new cooperativism” by enfranchising both labour and users in industrial relations (IR). Using this insight, they challenge accounts of SE history and argue for more research on SE’s potential contribution to radical IR.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the potential of the FSM as a vehicle for catalysing new SE and IR practices that share wealth and power more equitably between social entrepreneurs, workforce members, service/product users and community/social investors.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2007

Mike Bull

To investigate the higher‐level skills needs and learning provisions for small medium social enterprises (SMSEs) in Northwest England in order to support strategies for…

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3999

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the higher‐level skills needs and learning provisions for small medium social enterprises (SMSEs) in Northwest England in order to support strategies for lifelong learning and organizational development.

Design/methodology/approach

The study involved the development of “Balance”, a tool based on an adapted form of Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard (1996) performance measurement and management tool, integrating the notion of incremental learning development, and utilizing Kolb and Fry’s (1975) organizational learning cycle. Discusses the findings of piloting the tool in 30 social enterprises to make a case for an alternative approach to business analysis, where a qualitative approach is put forward.

Findings

The results indicated that the Balance tool provided SMSEs with an easy to use diagnostic tool for collating managers’ subjective opinions in order to simplify the analysis process and provide a reference point for discussing management skills needs. Reveals that there is a spectrum of social enterprise with the “need” or “social” driven organization at one end and the more “enterprise” driven organization at the other. Concludes that the “social” led business tends to focus on an informal, organic organizational system, utilising a loose business framework purely as a means to meeting the social/environment need, while the “enterprise” led business focuses on a structured business organizational system, embracing business logic and businesslike methods and discourse to meet the social/environment/business need.

Originality/value

Builds on research which was published in the previous issue of this journal (“Business practices in social enterprises”, Social Enterprise Journal, Volume 2 Number 1 2006) and outlines the current understandings and shortcomings of SMSE management knowledge.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 28 September 2012

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5544

Abstract

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2013

Pam Seanor, Mike Bull, Sue Baines and Rory Ridley‐Duff

In response to calls to critically analyse and conceptually advance social enterprise, the purpose of this paper is to examine narratives and models representing a…

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1045

Abstract

Purpose

In response to calls to critically analyse and conceptually advance social enterprise, the purpose of this paper is to examine narratives and models representing a spectrum of social enterprise from the “social” to the “economic”. The paper tests these against the experience of practitioners who were either employees in social organisations or support workers tasked with promoting social enterprise. This is timely against a background of imperatives from central governments for social organisations to compete for the delivery of public services and become more “entrepreneurial”.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports qualitative research in which participants were invited to draw lines and arrows onto spectrum models to illustrate the social and economic contexts they perceived themselves to be working within. The data comprise interviews and drawings, combined with verbal descriptions of the drawings and reflections on their significance.

Findings

The paper shows how participants interpreted the “social” and “economic” of social enterprise in pictures and words. The research suggests that social enterprise can not be told as a single narrative but as a set of little stories showing oscillations, contradictions and paradox.

Research limitations/implications

Understanding of social enterprise can be much improved by giving greater recognition to ambiguities and compromises within the lived experience of contemporary practice.

Originality/value

The article offers new reflection on widely used images that represent social enterprise along a dichotomous, polar spectrum from social to economic.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2010

Sue Baines, Mike Bull and Ryan Woolrych

The purpose of this paper is to offer a critical overview of claims and counter claims around increased expectations that the third sector organisations (TSOs) will…

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1840

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer a critical overview of claims and counter claims around increased expectations that the third sector organisations (TSOs) will compete for contracts to deliver public services. It does this through the lens of contested notions of being “businesslike” and “entrepreneurial” across the public and third sectors. Then it assesses how some of these tensions are currently played out between public sector commissioners and third sector service providers.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on a one‐year project funded under the ESRC Business Engagement Opportunities scheme (2009‐2010) in which the authors are working with NHS Manchester (responsible for commissioning and directing NHS funds into a wide range of services for communities across the city) and local third sector delivery and infrastructure organisations. The project consists of a set of knowledge exchange activities (scoping, workshops, placements and an on‐line tool) intended to help NHS Manchester reshape its local provider profile through market making and commissioning new service contracts from TSOs, especially social enterprises. Preliminary findings are reported from the review of academic and policy literature that formed the scoping stage of this project.

Findings

Public sector commissioners and TSOs often struggle to make sense of each others' world views and working assumptions. This cannot be easily overcome but ways of improving dialogue are proposed through exploration of third sector outcomes and entrepreneurial language, practices and mindsets.

Originality/value

This paper offers a new, grounded reflection on the nexus of public sector contracts, entrepreneurship and third sector values.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Mike Bull and Helen Crompton

To report the findings of a European Social Fund (ESF) financed study into the investigation and development of business practices and managerial skills in the social…

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3993

Abstract

Purpose

To report the findings of a European Social Fund (ESF) financed study into the investigation and development of business practices and managerial skills in the social enterprises sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The qualitative and grounded research investigation was conducted using interviews with owner/managers of 15 social enterprises in Greater Manchester and Lancashire, UK, and aimed to develop a strategic understanding of social enterprise business practices and issues and to develop baseline information to develop a management tool based on the balanced scorecard (BS) of Kaplan and Norton (1996). Develops a definition of social enterprise and presents a brief background of the post‐war development of the social enterprises sector, its recent growth and increasing competition for resources.

Findings

The results indicated that social enterprises adopt varying practices, face many issues and, while many are beginning to make themselves more accountable in terms of their social value, there was little evidence to suggest that social enterprises were measuring their social impact beyond providing data that was sought by funders. Reveals that the social enterprise managers implied that the next step was to become more proactive in recording and marketing their social values and that developing social value indicators is the next challenge, while evidence suggests that tools developed for social enterprises need to be informal, non‐generic and based on experiential learning.

Originality/value

Reveals key concepts that will form the framework for a modified BS.

Abstract

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Pairach Piboonrungroj

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1189

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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