The purpose of this paper is to identify important elements of the evaluation and definition of success in social entrepreneurship. It considers previous approaches and…
The purpose of this paper is to identify important elements of the evaluation and definition of success in social entrepreneurship. It considers previous approaches and the lessons that can be learned from other fields of organizational studies.
The method used is based upon an objective and subjective, social constructionist view of organizational success. The paper reviews the fields of strategy, organization theory, entrepreneurship and innovation to identify relevant frameworks, measures, definitions of success, and the implications of the choice of success measures on our understanding of various phenomena.
From this perspective, it becomes apparent that how success and failure are defined is based on assumptions about the value of social enterprise and the nature of social change. In order to develop a deeper understanding of the drivers of social enterprise, there must be experimentation with a rich complement of success measures that are not limited to the triple bottom line.
The paper is of use to social enterprise researchers, practitioners and consultants who are defining what it means for a social enterprise to be successful. The insights should allow for a more conscious evaluation of a range of potential success measures and the impacts they have on our social outcomes.
Although measuring social enterprise success is recognized to be an important topic, most work in the field implicitly or explicitly identifies success based on a goal‐centred evaluation of the triple bottom line. The paper challenges this thinking to include subjectivity, causation, contestation, organizational form and the multiple polar dimensions that must be balanced by every organization. It draws on research from related fields that have already struggled with these issues and can offer valuable lessons for social enterprise.
This paper aims to extend the understanding of the ways in which social entrepreneurs give sense to and legitimize their work by introducing a rhetoric-orientation view of…
This paper aims to extend the understanding of the ways in which social entrepreneurs give sense to and legitimize their work by introducing a rhetoric-orientation view of social entrepreneurship (SE).
This study uses computer-aided text analysis and computational linguistics to study 191 interviews of social and business entrepreneurs. It offers validation and exploration of new concepts pertaining to the rhetoric orientations of SE.
This study confirms prior untested assumptions that the rhetoric of social entrepreneurs is more other, stakeholder engagement and justification-oriented and less self-oriented than the rhetoric of business entrepreneurs. It also confirms that the rhetoric of both types of entrepreneurs is equally economically oriented.
This research makes new contribution to the SE literature by introducing three new orientations, namely, solution, impact and geographical, which reflect distinctive rhetorical themes used by social entrepreneurs, and by revealing that social entrepreneurs use terms associated with other, stakeholder engagement, justification, economic, solution, impact and geographical orientations differently than business entrepreneurs.