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This is a report on an IBM Institute for Business Value study, based on responses from more than 1,100 individuals and interviews with more than two dozen executives from…
This is a report on an IBM Institute for Business Value study, based on responses from more than 1,100 individuals and interviews with more than two dozen executives from leading organizations, that aims to suggest ways organizations can use social approaches to create meaningful business value.
IBM conducted interviews of key executives of companies learning to embed their external social tools into core business processes and capabilities.
The paper reveals that leading firms are using social approaches not only to communicate better with their customers, but also to share knowledge with their suppliers, business partners and, perhaps most important, their employees.
Social business tools facilitate engagement in extensive discussions with employees, customers, business partners and other stakeholders and allow sharing of resources, skills and knowledge to drive business outcomes. Executives are concerned because social business represents a different way of thinking about employees, customers and how work is accomplished, as well as the potential risks of increased organizational openness and transparency.
Leading firms are rapidly progressing to a substantive transformation in how they work, an approached called social business. Social business can create valued customer experiences, increase workforce productivity and effectiveness and accelerate innovation.
This paper aims to analyze how business units can use their employees’ external social capital to explore and exploit the resources available in their environment. Based…
This paper aims to analyze how business units can use their employees’ external social capital to explore and exploit the resources available in their environment. Based on multiple interviews with the employees of the global commodity firm Gamma Chemical (around 50,000 employees), the research aims at gaining an understanding of the contextual conditions required to successfully build and leverage individuals’ external social client network ties for business unit ambidexterity.
The authors conducted a single-case study at Gamma Chemical that entailed 33 semi-directive interviews, each of which lasted 1-4 h, at different organizational levels (ranging from top-level management to production workers). We had access to three regional business units. The interviews addressed the links between the individuals in the business units and external actors. The authors also collected information about the company’s strategic objectives, the local competitive environment and work organization. Open-ended questions were used to allow the interviewees to freely relate anecdotes about their own network development. In particular, the authors asked the respondents to identify business contacts with whom they interacted privately and to describe the relationships.
The research findings are two-fold. First, and contrary to prior studies, the authors find that individuals’ social capital contributes to both exploration and exploitation at the business unit level. Second, developing and leveraging individuals’ external social capital requires a specific organizational context at the business unit level that allows employees to develop and nurture their personal business relationships with clients.
The study is limited by the scope of the sample (a study of one large multinational firm). Further research conducted in similar contexts may therefore be useful for comparability purposes and to generalize the results.
Several practical recommendations describe how managers can effectively make use of their employees’ social connections with clients. In particular, the results suggest that managers should seek business unit flexibility on the basis of team-based structures, an autonomous leadership style and by actively creating a degree of critical social network tie redundancy, encouraging a shared network culture. These three specific conditions allow employees’ personal client networks to not only flourish but also contribute to business unit ambidexterity.
Prior social capital studies have analyzed intra-firm and inter-firm relationships in terms of contributing to firm ambidexterity. However, these findings have often been difficult to translate into specific organizational levels. Given business units’ critical role in identifying and implementing business opportunities for a firm, the authors focus on the micro-foundations of exploratory and exploitative learning by using a social capital perspective to explore the link between employees’ private external social relationships with clients and business unit ambidexterity. In this way, we contribute to the social capital literature and research on business unit ambidexterity and to extant contextual ambidexterity research by specifying the conditions that help firms develop and leverage their employees’ own external social capital for exploration and exploitation.
The use of entrepreneurship to deliver profound social impact is a much-needed but poorly understood concept. While social enterprises are generally well understood, there…
The use of entrepreneurship to deliver profound social impact is a much-needed but poorly understood concept. While social enterprises are generally well understood, there is a considerable need to have a more common approach to measuring the different ways they create social value for us as well as to reduce the difficulties of starting and growing them in the difficult conditions of developing countries. In the northeast of Nigeria, for example, the mammoth challenge of rebuilding communities in an unfavorable entrepreneurship environment makes the need for a solution even more urgent. This case study illustrates a model of promoting entrepreneurship that advances the conditions of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in local communities using a configuration of the key theories of social impact entrepreneurship (variants of entrepreneurship with blended value or mission orientation, including social entrepreneurship, sustainable entrepreneurship and institutional entrepreneurship). The extent to which ventures can adjust and improve the extent of their contributions to the SDGs are shown using examples of three entrepreneurs at different stages of growth. From this case study, students will be able to understand how entrepreneurs can identify and exploit social impact opportunities in the venture’s business model, within the network of primary stakeholders as well as in the wider institutional environment with the support of Impact+, a simple impact measurement praxis.
The case study envisions training students how to hardwire social impact focus in the venture’s business model (social entrepreneurship), how to run ventures with minimal harm to the environment and greatest benefit to stakeholders (sustainable entrepreneurship) and how to contribute to improving the institutional environment for social purpose entrepreneurship (institutional entrepreneurship).
At the end of learning this case study, students should be able to: 1. discover an effective model for a startup social venture; 2. explore options for managing a venture sustainably and helping stakeholders out of poverty; and 3. identify ways to contribute to improving the institutional environment for social impact entrepreneurs.
For students, this case will help in educating them on a pragmatic approach to designing social impact ventures – one that calibrates where they are on well-differentiated scales.
For business schools, entrepreneurial development institutions and policymakers, this case study can help them learn how to target entrepreneurial development for specific development outcomes.
Complexity academic level
The case study is preferably for early-stage postgraduate students (MSc or MBA).
Teaching notes are available for educators only.
CSS 3: Entrepreneurship.
The aim of this article is to contribute to the field of social businesses, particularly considering the dimension of social innovation.
The aim of this article is to contribute to the field of social businesses, particularly considering the dimension of social innovation.
The authors adopted a qualitative approach, whose purpose is to gather in-depth insights into a problem to understand its contextual elements and interrelations. The authors used an exploratory descriptive design and a multiple case study, which allows the identification of similarities and differences in the research subjects. They developed a scale that enables the classification of the operation logic of the social businesses analyzed.
It became evident that social businesses present a few differences in their modus operandi: those based on a social logic are more concerned with the generation of socio-environmental value, however with small-scale innovation; in contrast, social business guided by a market logic do not intend to generate socio-environmental value in different dimensions and are more concerned with the wider range of their innovations.
This research analyzed social businesses from a founder and manager perspective and did not comprise all stakeholders. The purpose of this study was not to measure the effective impact generated by innovation, but to understand its potential to generate socio-environmental value.
The generation of socio-environmental value and the strategies to expand practices of social innovation are associated with the operation logic of social business.
The created scale allowed the classification of social businesses in terms of operation logic (greater emphasis on market or social aspects) and proposes a few dimensions to evaluate a socio-environmental innovation.
Internet + and Electronic Business in China is a comprehensive resource that provides insight and analysis into E-commerce in China and how it has revolutionized and continues to revolutionize business and society. Split into four distinct sections, the book first lays out the theoretical foundations and fundamental concepts of E-Business before moving on to look at internet+ innovation models and their applications in different industries such as agriculture, finance and commerce. The book then provides a comprehensive analysis of E-business platforms and their applications in China before finishing with four comprehensive case studies of major E-business projects, providing readers with successful examples of implementing E-Business entrepreneurship projects.
Internet + and Electronic Business in China is a comprehensive resource that provides insights and analysis into how E-commerce has revolutionized and continues to revolutionize business and society in China.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has escalated innovation to new heights unseen, creating an evolution of innovation and corporate social responsibility (CSR), and as a…
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has escalated innovation to new heights unseen, creating an evolution of innovation and corporate social responsibility (CSR), and as a result, a more Innovative CSR. With this evolution comes also the evolution of the ‘Preneur’ from social entrepreneur to corporate social entrepreneur and corporate social intrapreneur. It is therefore important to acknowledge that social entrepreneurship is not just for the social sector, or start-up entrepreneur – corporations can also be social entrepreneurs. This chapter establishes an understanding of this possibility alongside solving wicked problems and challenges, and how to provide collaborative networks and co-creation experiences to assist others on this journey. More importantly, the chapter discusses how corporates can assist millennials (and Generation Z) by funding and incubating their innovative or social enterprise idea under the umbrella of CSR strategy, until it is ready to be released to the world. The chapter is supported by academic literature and business publications with suggestions for future research opportunities.
Given the complexity of inclusive business (IB) to combine social contribution and business sustainability, companies make strategic choices. One multinational corporation…
Given the complexity of inclusive business (IB) to combine social contribution and business sustainability, companies make strategic choices. One multinational corporation (MNC) avoided interconnections with villagers and used only market-based relations with stimulants and incentives in the market. Another one delegated management completely to local partners, succeeding in stimulating the poor’s self-initiated economic activities. MNCs seem to have difficulties in handling institutional interconnections. In such cases, market-based relations or delegating management to the local partners were found to be highly effective for covering missing capabilities. One foreign NGO, despite its well-developed institutional interconnections with the locals, is struggling to develop markets for its social enterprises. In contrast, one local trust successfully cooperated with many local partners, appealing to local institutions (values and beliefs). Also, poor farmers felt the social contributions of two local companies by being incorporated into the companies’ supply chains backed by their corporate social responsibility (CSR) orientations and activities. Hence, both foreign and domestic organizations seem to succeed in IB by embedding their projects to their original institutions and developing diverse mechanisms to compensate for missing capabilities. One exception is a local company which successfully coordinated MNCs’ CSR activities, local communities, and governments. However, its success is owing to governmental regulation for CSR contribution. In general, though restricted by institutional backgrounds and business orientations, each case tried to create a fit between business models and its contingencies, achieve scale (at the level of communities, nations, or the global market) and business sustainability, and generate socioeconomic effects.
- Institutional interconnection avoidance
- interest mediation in cross-boundary cooperation
- boundary-blurring cross-boundary cooperation
- self-decision and initiative of the poor
- social-enterprise diversification for risk hedging
- supply-chain-derived human dignity
- behavioral alteration with needs, incentives, and price
- dynamic social activities creating economies of scale
- local, national, or global scale economies
- unexpected businesses opportunities
Many believe we are suffering from an ethics crisis (Perry & Nixon, 2005). The increased incidence of irresponsible behaviour by business, recent examples being the global…
Many believe we are suffering from an ethics crisis (Perry & Nixon, 2005). The increased incidence of irresponsible behaviour by business, recent examples being the global financial crisis and the BP oil spill, and the devastating consequences on society have focused attention on the role business schools play in educating future business (and other) leaders. There have also been criticisms of business schools failing to take into account the ‘factually impossible notion of unlimited growth in a world of limited resources’ (Giacalone & Thompson, 2006), and continuing to encourage business strategies which are at odds with the growing challenge of sustainable development, which include issues of climate change, inequity and resource depletion (Giacalone & Thompson, 2006; Shrivastava, 1995; Waddock, 2007). Indeed, business schools have been criticised for encouraging a self-interested, profit-oriented focus that ignores the wider responsibilities of business to society (Gioia, 1992; Kochan, 2002; Mitroff, 2004). Starkey, Hatchuel, and Tempest (2004), for example, claim that the business school has become “ethically compromised because the values it espouses have been implicated in recent corporate scandals.” McPhail (2001) suggests the inclusion of business ethics into accounting and business education as a possible remedy. Cant and Kulik went further and claimed that “business schools would be remiss, if not unethical themselves, if their ethics education efforts were not increased in light of recent events.” (2009).
This paper intends to offer a comparison between the concepts of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social business (SB) and rationalizes the application of both…
This paper intends to offer a comparison between the concepts of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social business (SB) and rationalizes the application of both the ideas as potential ways of accomplishingsustainable development. It follows an axiomatic and theoretical approach to frame the relationship of CSR and social business with the fastest growing concept of sustainable development. The objective of this research is to shed some light on i. the basic differences of the theories, ii. underlying assumptions of both theories regarding sustainable development, and iii. the effectiveness or contribution of each concept in attaining sustainable development. This is basically a conceptual paper based on extensive literature review and followed by some qualitative research techniques such as case studies, in-depth interviews with CSR and social business experts and CEOs of corporate houses and social business enterprises as well as focus group discussions with beneficiaries and community representatives of both fields.Narrative analysis method is adopted to analyze obtained data. Result indicates that both CSR and social business can be significant ways to achieve sustainable development by means of eliminating poverty, unemployment and inequality, preventing environmental degradation and the like as both concepts are intended tosolve social problems. This research proposes that a combination of these two concepts is more likely to offer sustainable solutions to social problems.