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Book part
Publication date: 14 November 2017

Hue Chi Dao and Bruce C. Martin

We contribute to the growing literature examining how social enterprises might best accommodate their hybrid structure when pursuing dual goals of social improvement and…

Abstract

We contribute to the growing literature examining how social enterprises might best accommodate their hybrid structure when pursuing dual goals of social improvement and economic sustainability. Drawing on extant literature, the case is made for why synergy between the social and commercial business models that hybrid social enterprises employ should positively impact effectiveness in delivering organization outcomes. We then develop a method for comparing the synergy between the social and commercial business models employed within and across organizations, and test the method using a sample of seven social enterprises operating in different social fields. Results demonstrate that our method can be applied consistently across a range of social enterprise types and that variation in degree of synergy is considerable with overlap rates ranging from 9% to 77%. Using learning from this exploratory study, we develop propositions describing how and why social entrepreneurs develop business model synergy, the relationship between business model synergy and organizational performance, and suggest future research to test these propositions. Implications for theory development and practice are discussed.

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

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2020

Cecilia Dalborg and Yvonne von Friedrichs

In many regions, the potential of social entrepreneurship and social innovation are not fully used. The purpose of this study is to explore issues and challenges in the…

Abstract

Purpose

In many regions, the potential of social entrepreneurship and social innovation are not fully used. The purpose of this study is to explore issues and challenges in the business advisory support offered to social entrepreneurs and, from this background, give suggestions on how the advisory process to social entrepreneurs could be modified to better gain society.

Design/methodology/approach

Representatives from 15 business advisory organisations in Sweden were interviewed to examine how their support to social enterprises meets the needs of the companies, and to discover possible problems encountered regarding the business advice available to social enterprises. Using thematic analysis, six different overarching themes were identified that characterise issues and challenges in the business advisory support offered to social enterprises.

Findings

The results show that many advisers lack experience in social entrepreneurship, yet they consider that social enterprises are not “genuine” entrepreneurs, and that they, therefore, refer them to advisers focussing on co-operative enterprises. Furthermore, the absence of sustainable business models, the lack of financial resources and the existence of municipal monopoly are identified by the advisers as challenges.

Practical implications

This paper reveals an Achilles’ heel in the business advisory support offered to social enterprises, namely, the lack of experience and knowledge of social entrepreneurship amongst current business advisers, as well as a prioritisation of advice to more “commercial” entrepreneurs because of policy instruments and the expectations from the public funders of increased profitability and growth in the companies that receive advice. The mainstream business advisory service could play a key role by bringing together the various stakeholders in this shared value process. This would, however, require increased knowledge and new government policies and directives that ensure that social entrepreneurs are prioritised in the business advisory situation.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates that the current advisory system is not adapted to fit the needs of social enterprises. It also proposes the need to include participation and proximity in the business model design.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 17 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…

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.

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2008

Clifford Conway

This paper seeks to explain how the course content of a Graduate Certificate in Social Enterprise was varied to meet the unique business planning training needs for social

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to explain how the course content of a Graduate Certificate in Social Enterprise was varied to meet the unique business planning training needs for social enterprise.

Design/methodology/approach

The research began with a review of the literature covering generic and social enterprise business planning, the findings of which were applied into the design of the course.

Findings

The paper concludes that although there are a number of similarities in business planning needs for start‐up commercial and social enterprise business plans, the differences are, however, significant enough to require that course design should take these into account and thus avoid delivering a generic programme that does not fully meet student needs.

Practical implications

Academic and professional deliverers of business planning programmes are strongly recommended not to offer generic offerings but instead tailor to the needs of the social enterprise sector.

Originality/value

This paper will be of interest to providers of programmes aimed at social enterprises as well as social enterprise practitioners responsible for staff training. The literature in this area is still nascent while the development of accredited courses is still quite new and therefore the paper helps contribute to the development of best practice in the delivery of programmes to this sector.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2009

Briga Hynes

The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of business growth as it applies to the social enterprise. It examines if social entrepreneurs have a growth agenda…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of business growth as it applies to the social enterprise. It examines if social entrepreneurs have a growth agenda, how this is achieved and the challenges encountered in achieving firm growth.

Design/methodology/approach

This exploratory study involves the completion of a series of four case studies of established social enterprises.

Findings

Social entrepreneurs do have aspirations to grow their enterprise, where growth is perceived from multiple perspectives, primarily underpinned by the provision of a perceived social value. Firm growth is predominately measured from the external beneficiary perspective rather than internal financial metrics. Sourcing financing, staff retention adjusting to different roles in managing the enterprise and measuring the scale and impact of their business are the primary challenges encountered. The creation of social value and profit generation are not mutually exclusive in the social enterprise when social entrepreneurs confront the challenges of growth within a business context.

Originality/value

The findings from the research provide a more holistic understanding of growth in the social enterprise. This detail adds to an under researched topic in the Irish context, puts forward recommendations on what is required by policy to assist the social entrepreneur take their business to the next level and presents areas for further research to advance a topic that is still in its infancy.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2013

Thomas Hemphill

On November 1, 2010, the Geneva‐based International Organization for Standardization (ISO) launched ISO 26000:2010, Guidance on Social Responsibility (hereafter ISO SR

Abstract

Purpose

On November 1, 2010, the Geneva‐based International Organization for Standardization (ISO) launched ISO 26000:2010, Guidance on Social Responsibility (hereafter ISO SR international standard), a document that integrates international expertise on the concept of the social responsibility of organizations in society. The purpose of this paper is to identify and critically analyze the reasons for and against business enterprises implementing the ISO 26000 SR international standard.

Design/methodology/approach

This analysis identifies the following reasons for business enterprises to implement the ISO SR international standard: first, the positive image of ISO as a globally reputable and credible organization for establishing international technical standards; second, the development of an international consensus among stakeholders regarding the definition and objectives of social responsibility as it pertains to the economic, environmental, and social impacts of business enterprises on society and the natural environment; and third, as a holistic reference for a management team interested in integrating social responsibility principles into enterprise operations.

Findings

From a general business governance perspective, the ISO 26000 SR international standard is handicapped by it being too broad in scope to be useful in the context of specific industries and sectors, too costly and time‐consuming for many small and medium‐sized enterprises to implement, and, unlike most other ISO international standards, it is not a certifiable management system – therefore leading to weaknesses in assessing its efficacy.

Originality/value

This article provides a comprehensive and thorough analysis of the “strengths and weaknesses” of the recently published ISO 26000 SR international standard as a viable business governance document.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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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

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.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Frances Hines

To identify the challenges faced by UK social enterprises in their attempts to develop the kind of support needed to achieve their social, economic and environmental objectives.

Abstract

Purpose

To identify the challenges faced by UK social enterprises in their attempts to develop the kind of support needed to achieve their social, economic and environmental objectives.

Design/methodology/approach

The history of social enterprise development in the UK is traced, focusing on some of the key problems of definition and complexity within the social enterprise sector. Examines some of the current problems facing social enterprises in terms of the provision of business support. Reports the results of a survey of 28 key informants working in 30 social enterprises (20 drawn from Triodos Bank’s client list, 10 non‐Tiodos Bank clients) to gather data relating to: business profile; technical profile; business support; evaluation of business support; and the role of social businesses in the UK and the quality and level of support available to the sector. Includes results for five organizations from two specific industry sectors for more detailed research (electrical and electronic waste refurbishment sector, care sector).

Findings

The results indicated that the current needs of social enterprises are not being met by the current provision for such organizations since such provision fails to address the strategic tension that exists between social and business purpose. Concludes with recommendation for providers of business support and advice to the social enterprise sector.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was skewed towards organic related businesses (farming, wholesale/retailing of organic products) and fewer care‐related businesses than anticipated from national statistics were included.

Originality/value

Provides important results based on research commissioned by Triodos Bank, an ethical and social bank that lends to social enterprises across the UK.

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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2018

Karen Panum, Michael W. Hansen and Elder Davy

Based on six case studies of self-proclaimed social enterprises (SEs) in Kenya, this paper aims to critically assess the “SE” concept in a base of the pyramid (BoP) context.

Abstract

Purpose

Based on six case studies of self-proclaimed social enterprises (SEs) in Kenya, this paper aims to critically assess the “SE” concept in a base of the pyramid (BoP) context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on multiple case studies to challenge traditional notions of SE. Six SEs operating at the BoP in Kenya are analysed. Interviews are conducted with entrepreneurs from each enterprise, during which the enterprisesbusiness models are mapped and scrutinised.

Findings

Based on the six case studies, the paper argues that the SE concept is challenged in a BoP context: the six Kenyan SEs viewed social and commercial orientation as equally important and mutually supportive; viewed social orientation as a competitive advantage; and did not consider social objectives as harmonious. These findings corroborate key claims of the BoP literature, e.g. that it is not possible meaningfully to distinguish social and commercial missions at the BoP as they are intertwined; that any company succeeding at the BoP will have a social impact; and that the pursuit of some social objectives may undermine the achievement of other social objectives. The overall conclusion of the paper is that in BoP environments, the concept of SE becomes illusive.

Originality/value

This paper adds perspective to existing literature on SE at the BoP and provides empirical evidence that can help shape the understanding of social business activities in East Africa. The paper demonstrates that in BoP environments, the boundaries between social and commercial enterprise become illusive.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4604

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Book part
Publication date: 15 September 2010

İlke Oruç and Muammer Sarikaya

Owing to the changing roles of business enterprises in social life, the term “corporate social responsibilty” has received growing interest both in the related literature…

Abstract

Owing to the changing roles of business enterprises in social life, the term “corporate social responsibilty” has received growing interest both in the related literature and in practical applications. Although the framework of the term is still debatable, it is acknowledged that the issues involved in the concept have significant functions for society as a whole and for the business enterprises involved.

Details

NGOs and Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-296-9

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